By: Jim Harvey
Last May I was asked by the WHS if I would like to participate in a new initiative called the ‘Monthly Volunteer Profile’ (MVP) which recognizes and profiles a different volunteer each month. The MVP is selected by the volunteer services group based on nominations from other volunteers or staff. My contribution to the project is photographing the volunteer working at their job within the WHS. The photographs are included as part of the article written by Brian Kozak and posted to the WHS website.
I did not have to think twice about participating in the MVP program. It sounded like a great project and received an instant yes from me. My primary volunteer position at the WHS is with the dogs in the back area and I totally love the position. But, if there is a down side to the position it is that I don’t get the chance to meet too many other people who volunteer at the WHS. I thought photographing the MVP would be a great chance to meet some of the other volunteers at the WHS.
But at that time I could not have imagined what an inspiring experience it would be.
Most people are a little nervous about a photo shoot. I am too when I find myself on the other side of the camera. But that nervousness seems to melt away when a person starts working with an animal and the true passion comes out.
Watching and recording a volunteer work with an animal is inspiring to witness month after month. I get to see the care and compassion these people show towards the animals that are in the care of the WHS. Time after time I hear the warmth in their voice, see the care in their eyes, and the compassion in their touch.
I also know that these qualities are not limited to the volunteers who are nominated as the MVP. Unfortunately, with almost 700 active WHS volunteers at any given time, it is not possible for each one to be recognized as an MVP. Even if we recognized a different volunteer each day, we would not get through everyone in a year.
But I’d like to suggest that while not everyone will be recognized in the Monthly Volunteer Profile, each and every person who volunteers at the WHS is an MVP; a “Most Valuable Person”.
Every volunteer gives of themselves and their time for a cause that helps make a difference in the community. Each one plays a part in making the WHS what it is as an organization because the WHS stands on the shoulders of everyone who contributes to its operations. Each volunteer, no matter what their position, how often or little they come in, helps make the world a better place for the animals that come into the care of the WHS.
The Most Valuable Persons of the WHS are truly an inspiring bunch of people.