If you were trying to catch me at my desk Thursday morning, I wasn’t in. Instead, I was doing a different kind of work, volunteering with San Diego Patch Senior Regional Editor Chris Jennewein, Advertising Manager Kevin Devaney and Regional Publisher Steve Suhrheinrich at (RCHS).
The Patch Give 5 program is an initiative through which employees across the United States are encouraged to ditch the desk and donate their time as volunteers in the communities they serve. Five business days a year, you can find Patchers of every level out in their community lending a hand.
Bright and early, we met RCHS’ community liaison, Nick Winfrey, for a tour around the shelter—which is really not a shelter at all in the traditional sense, but an old home turned animal haven.
The staff—a handful of regular employees and, Nick estimated, about 30 volunteers per day—take advantage of what little space they have, working out of tiny, cramped offices and keeping files in what once was used as a shower. But making our way outside, to the fenced cages shaded by solar panels, grassy play areas and even a “Rabbitat,” it became quite clear why: This space is truly for the animals.
RCHS was formed in 1960 by a group of volunteers with a goal to provide shelter for the homeless animal population of San Diego County as well as educate the public about responsible animal care. Though it is now a professionally managed humane society, RCHS remains a nonprofit charitable organization, meaning that it is not tax supported or funded by any government agency.
After showing us around, Nick led our Patch team to an education building on the property, where we were put to work behind the scenes, assembling booklets on dog safety for children and cutting treats for the resident dogs. One lucky pup—a 2-year-old terrier mix named Cable Guy—even joined us.
Leaving the shelter that morning, I felt better for having given back to my community—and for being a part of a company that encourages me to do so. It was truly a rewarding experience. I felt warm. And, dare I say, fuzzy?
For more information on volunteering at RCHS, call the volunteer coordinator at 760-753-6413, ext. 109, or visit rchumanesociety.org/volunteer.