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posted: 4/18/2013 1:11 PM

People who volunteer receive as much as they give

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  • Bella is an 80-pound, Labrador retriever mix, who is about 6 years old. She wants a home with you.

      Bella is an 80-pound, Labrador retriever mix, who is about 6 years old. She wants a home with you.
    Courtesy of The Buddy Foundation

  • Jack, a male, one-year-old boxer, weights about 64 pounds and is looking for a forever home.

      Jack, a male, one-year-old boxer, weights about 64 pounds and is looking for a forever home.
    Courtesy of The Buddy Foundation

 
By Ellaine Kiriluk
The Buddy Foundation

Happy National Volunteer's Week.

This year National Volunteer Week is April 21-27. Volunteers give their time, energy, expertise and talents to make a difference. This is the week we celebrate those who give the gift of themselves.

According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, about 63.4 million Americans or 26.3 percent of the adult population, gave 8.1 billion hours of volunteer service worth $173 billion in 2010. People volunteer for a variety of reasons; to share a skill, to give of their time, to improve their community. If you are thinking of volunteering and want to help animals, you may want to consider volunteering at an animal shelter.

The reasons for volunteering may be important. The benefits of volunteering are inestimable. The Humane Society of the United States suggests some of the benefits of volunteering to better the lives of animals waiting for their forever homes:

• Getting warm fuzzies. "You'll never find a more grateful and accepting comrade than an animal you've comforted."

• You'll make new friends (two legged as well as four legged). You'll be sharing time with people who share the same interests as you.

• You'll discover skills you never knew you had.

• You may learn things that lead you to a new career. Colleges and employers look favorably on time spent in volunteer service.

• You will be a part of the solution. "You'll join a network of thousands of people working to make the world safe and more humane for all living creatures." You will be helping to make a difference in the lives of animals by spreading the message of responsible animal ownership and animal protection.

• By volunteering at animal shelter, you will get tail wags, sloppy kisses and purrs to enjoy.

• You may also volunteer by fostering animals in your home while they wait to be adopted.

Whether you walk dogs, play with cats, help at fundraising events or help with mailings, you are giving of yourself to benefit the animals at the shelter. To locate a volunteer opportunity, go to the Shelter Pet Project, enter your ZIP code and click "search."

You can also contact the Buddy Foundation if you are interested in volunteering at an animal shelter. The Buddy Foundation is an all volunteer organization. We have the best volunteers helping our animals. I would like to take this opportunity to say "Thank you " to the valued volunteers of the Buddy Foundation. More importantly, the dogs and cats say "Thank you."

• Contact The Buddy Foundation at (847) 290-5806; visit the shelter at 65 W. Seegers Road, Arlington Heights; or find them online at thebuddyfoundation.org.

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