That’s what we found out when we signed up as volunteers for Causes for Animals, a non-profit, non-government organization that is helping with the management and care of homeless animals. If you have ever wondered why there aren’t so many stray dogs or why stray cats are all so fat, then one way or another, CAS may have been involved.
Of course there are regulations followed with respect on handling stray animals. The best place to look these up is actually through their (or other partners) websites. The links would be at the end of this post.
There were several types of volunteer work. The one that we got ourselves into is getting monetary donations for the care of fostered animals. You see, while stray animals are caught and housed in a safe shelter, the running costs of these shelters aren’t free. Add on veterinary care and the roof will cave in on you. Those who have their own pets know just how expensive it is to care for our furry friends.
So we came. We got our cans. And we already knew where we were going to go. It was a Sunday, and church lets out a whole lot of people every hour. Luckily for us, the church is merely a few meters away from the mall, the MRT and the bus interchange. So we bravely stood alongside the brick road that connects the two areas and ask strangers if they would like to donate for a good cause.
It turns out, people are quite willing to help. Especially if they see younger people volunteer for these types of activities. Matthew probably collected three times more than what I did. In fact, he didn’t even have to say anything, people who saw him holding out the can just came by and dropped their donations in his can.
It may have been easy getting people to donate for the cause, but it wasn’t all that easy. Standing there under the heat (even if you were in the shade) is no joke. We finished our bottled water halfway through our shift. And then the people started winding down. And it became more difficult to ask people. The fatigue from the heat hit us. We couldn’t even stay in our place for very long. Other volunteers have stepped around the area we were at and it became saturated very fast. And then we got hungry. And thirsty. On a personal note, the volunteer guide clearly states that the volunteers’ well being is a priority. So keeping your hunger and thirst quenched is not only recommended but encouraged.
We had lunch when the time hit 12 noon. We had ice cream too in order to cool off. That was it though. After lunch, we both felt very tired and decided together that we need to turn in our cans. We did so, happily. Not because it was over, but because we managed to do our work and helped out in a way that we have not done so before.
Volunteer work is not easy. You need to have dedication and the will to see it through. It was a great experience for both of us, and we definitely would think about it again when the opportunity comes.
If you would like to help Causes for Animals, please visit their website for information on volunteer work. Believe me, there’s actually a lot to do.