Love yourself. Be gentle, kind, respectful, sincere. If you carry that out, you might inspire others with that attitude.
– – Kemmy Nola
The impact you have volunteering to help animals is far reaching.
Six degrees is all that separates us
I was at a holiday party last month and was sharing how awesome it is to have Rachael on Team Doobert. She does so much and she challenges me to keep reaching higher and higher. Doobert would not be where it is today without her dedication, support and passion for animals.
During the conversation I was having, another person jumped in and said, “Rachael is amazing! I love Rachael!” When I asked her how she knew Rachael she replied, “I don’t. But I took over her position after she left JCI and everything about the system she setup and the way things were organized is just amazing.” You might wonder what the chances are that a random person at a holiday party would know you or something you did. However, if you believe in the idea of six degrees of separation, the idea is not so far fetched. Whether you believe in the concept of six degrees of separation or if you think it’s an urban myth, it really does not matter. What does matter is remembering that you have an impact on others that reaches further than the circle of people you know.
What do you want others to say about you? How do you want to impact them?
I remember an activity once assigned to me by a teacher wherein I had to write my own obituary. What did I want people to say about me? How did I want the world to remember me? Stop for a moment and think about what you want others to say about you when you are not around. Do you want them to remember you as a leader and an inspiration to them? Should they tell others about your passion for animals in addition to your compassion for people? Or will they talk about how your approach limited their ability to make the kind of impact that they wanted to have on the world.
Nobody wants to be remembered for the mistakes they made or the comments they uttered during an off-day or frustrating moment. All of us want to be remembered for our positive impact on the lives of those that we have encountered during our days above ground. But it is hard when you are stuck in traffic or dealing with difficult people in your job to always think about the lasting impression you can have on someone else even if you do not get the opportunity to talk with them face to face.
Will your approach for helping animals inspire others to greatness and increase the impact?
Some of you reading this will be new animal rescue volunteers and others may be seasoned pros with decades of animal rescue under their belts. No matter the duration of your passion for helping save animals I invite you to ask yourself whether your approach for helping animals will serve as an inspiration to others. Will others describe you as a help or a hindrance? Will they see your actions as doing good or not adding any value to the solution?
When you interact with a passionate community of people from all different backgrounds and experiences, it is very unlikely that you will get along and share the same opinions as everyone else. But how you interact with those that you share a common bond with and those that you don’t, will have a ripple effect on your personal brand in animal rescue for many years to come.
Animal rescue is a choice not a race.
Animal rescue is a movement without a defined beginning or end. Sure there are targets like Best Friends No-Kill 2025 that seek to unite us towards a common goal with a defined deadline, but the plight of animal suffering has been around for generations and likely will continue long after those of you reading this (and me writing it) are gone. There is no prize for first place, and no list of names and organizations that did the “most” to help animals. The impact each of us makes is due to the lifestyle we have chosen.
I continue to build and care for the Doobert platform as it grows in size and capabilities. I believe that the ideas and principles in place when I founded Doobert are alive and well today. Our vision has always been “Passion and kindness for animals through support and collaboration,” and our mission remains [to] “Bring leading edge solutions to animal rescue, providing support and technology to help animal rescuers save homeless animals.”
My hope is that people will remember me as a person that had a passion for animals and someone that devoted their skills to helping them. I hope people will remember my collaborative approach for working together towards the common goal that we all have for helping animals. I hope they will celebrate my positive impact on animals and never forget my desire to learn, grow and support all of those with the same passions.
Volunteering saves lives, both the lives of the people you help and yours. When you invest the time and energy to volunteer, you are investing in yourself just as much as in the causes you support.