Melissa Emerzian wanted to teach her nine-year-old daughter, Kate, the importance of giving back to the community, so she and Kate joined RedRover’s family of On-Call Angels in 2015. After reviewing several RedRover Relief cases, Kate got to choose the pet she wanted to personally help.

Here is what Kate had to say about her experience of giving back as an On-Call Angel:

Why do you think it’s important to help people/animals in your community?
My mom always says that our community is like an extended family. So, these animals are my family and I feel it’s right that we help them.

Why did you choose to help animals, specifically, through RedRover?
I met RedRover when I was part of a children’s volunteer service project called SVP KIDS. I got to experience the class program that RedRover does and hear what else they do to help animals. I have always loved animals and it’s nice to know that other people do, too. I think it’s really cool what RedRover does, all three of their programs. I would like to volunteer at RedRover one day.

How does it make you feel to know you’re helping an animal in need?
It makes me feel, honestly, like I am doing the right thing. It also makes me feel really good inside.

Do you have pets?
Yes, I have three pets. I have two dogs and one frog. The two dogs are Oliver and Daisy. Daisy was given to me as a Christmas present when I was 7. I asked my mom and dad every day for two years if I could have a dog. My mom was still so sad from the loss of our other dog that she wasn’t sure. Finally, they gave in and I woke up to a dog on Christmas Day. Another time, more recently, I woke up to another dog. My mom thought Daisy needed a friend. At first I thought it was Daisy waking me up as she usually does for school but when I opened my eyes there was Oliver. What a surprise!  He is a puppy (8 months) and Daisy is 4 years old. My frog is an African dwarf frog and his name is Alan. I had another frog but he passed. It’s depressing so I won’t talk about it.

How do your friends feel about animals?
Most of my friends love animals. We live in the country so most of them have many, many animals. None of them love them enough to be a vegetarian like me though. I have been a vegetarian since I was five years old. The rest of my family is not vegetarian but they are eating less and less animal products.

Do your friends know that you help animals with RedRover?
I was telling one of my friends about RedRover just yesterday. She knew about it because RedRover had come to her previous school to teach kids about animals. She thought it was really cool that I was helping animals and she wanted to hear more about them.

What would you tell other kids about giving back to the community, especially by helping animals?
I would tell other kids how exciting it is and how good it makes you feel. I would ask them how they would feel if their pet was sick or if something happened and they couldn’t afford the hospital or vet bills.

We are grateful for Melissa and Kate’s support as On-Call Angels, and for the hope and inspiration for a kinder future thanks to kids like Kate. Thank you, Melissa and Kate!

To learn about the On-Call Angel program, please visit RedRover.org/Angel.