By Devon Krusko, RedRover Field Services and Outreach Coordinator

Kindness. Selfless acts. Pure intent. I think of these qualities when I think of volunteering.  I’ve found that throughout my career in animal welfare, there is no lack of volunteer interest, but it’s the commitment that really counts. And I get why commitment is so challenging: We live in a world where it always feels like we’re trying to do more. By the time we’ve worked through our day, done our errands and taken care of our own families (children and animals alike!), how in the world are we supposed to fit in time to help others? Let alone travel to do so?    

This is why the RedRover Responders volunteers are such a gift. They’re the ones unloading animals at sunrise, baking cupcakes for the shelter staff, bringing hand knit blankets, showing up early and staying late. They’re the ones who use their vacation days to clean cages. These volunteers go above and beyond for animals – and help us remember why we continue doing this work through physical and emotional fatigue. These everyday heroes become family. 

We can never thank our volunteers enough. Their energy and contribution to the cause is priceless. 

Our RedRover Responders staff is small: just five hardworking, dedicated people. But our RedRover Responders volunteer team is made up of 4,000 hearts of gold. People who drive, fly and even choose to spend their holiday caring for animals in need. We quite literally could not do our work without our volunteers. They are the core of the RedRover Responders team. 

In this work, nobody can do it alone. It takes many hours, sore muscles and a great sense of humor to put together a temporary emergency shelter for animals. It takes hours of patience, lots of snacks and a good team to work through the bumps of organizing shelter operations. And it takes a huge heart, boundless compassion and more than a few tears to witness the resilience of animals who have experienced crisis. 

So we are grateful. Simply grateful. For our volunteers, for the work that we do, and for the support that allows us to do it. 

Volunteering with RedRover is more than just giving back. It’s an immersive experience of creating friendships, bonds and memories with like-minded people. It’s dragging your very tired self to dinner in your deployment clothes because you want to be around the people you’ve created a community with. It’s having a favorite animal on every deployment – every single time. It’s the feeling you get when you’ve created a simple hidey hole out of a cardboard box for a scared kitty, and then you see them curled up inside – content, safe and no longer afraid. You did that, and we need you. 

Ready to give back? By 2022, we plan to increase our number of RedRover Responders volunteers to 5,000! You can help us meet this objective by joining our volunteer team: RedRover.org/volunteer.