Volunteer Spotlight: Kiley M.

OtterBox Position Title: Business Analyst

What motivates you to volunteer? I volunteer for many reasons.  First, because it is the right thing to do.  Second, it makes me feel good to volunteer and know that I have helped an animal or organization in need.  The experience of watching a rescued animal that was previously abused learn to trust humans again and find peace is a truly rewarding and inspiring.

What organizations do you volunteer with and in what ways?

  • W.O.L.F. Sanctuary (www.wolfsanctuary.net): animal care, facility maintenance, educational programs, public events, advocate.
  • The Wild Animal Sanctuary (www.wildanimalsanctuary.org): animal care, facility maintenance, advocate.
  • OtterCares Foundation: Pack2School, setting up volunteer opportunities for my fellow Otters, advocate.

In addition, I attend public events for many other non-profits in Northern Colorado.  If you couldn’t tell already, I really love charities!

What is your fondest memory of volunteering? In 2006, W.O.L.F. rescued 18 animals from a breeder that had been horribly neglected and abused.  A group of us spent 3 days building enclosures for them at 10,000 feet in elevation.  The work was beyond exhausting and backbreaking.  By some miracle, we managed to finish the build before the animals arrived.  They were scared, underweight and had all kinds of medical problems.  However, after some TLC, the animals made a complete transformation in the beautiful wolves they are today.  Seeing how improved their lives and spirits are today makes all our hard work worth it many times over.

What have you learned or how have you been personally affected by a volunteer experience? I have had my heart touched by so many wonderful animals and experiences, there is no way to list them all here.  I meet some of my best friends through the organizations I volunteer for.  And I have learned so many skills I would have never had the opportunity to otherwise, like: building fencing on the side of a mountain, running chainsaws, giving large educational presentation, darting animals, catching up angry animals without getting hurt, and the true meaning of forgiveness.

Do you have any advice for individuals who are thinking about volunteering? Do it!  Start with an organization that you feel a connection to, or find one that does work you are passionate about, and get involved.  This will open you up to more avenues and you can find what really works for you.  Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!  Not only will you get the wonderful feeling volunteering creates; you will also make some lifelong friends and maybe even have a life changing experience.  What are you waiting for?!