Volunteers are Essential Services
In October, I wrote a letter to the owner of the property we have put an offer on. In part it says,
“Kindred believes in community. We have 65 volunteers who care for the animals, land and buildings. I know our volunteers will be overjoyed to take care of your farm. We have been through many struggles these past three years and have risen to the challenges. One challenge was moving to our current farm without running water or electricity! They are a very strong lot, but they deserve to finally have a beautiful space to call home. A move to your property would allow us to grow our healing programs, help more children and rescue more animals.”
Come December, Mother Nature presented us with another challenge this past week. Each day she threw something different at us: snow, ice, freezing rain, wind, frozen water pipes, frozen doors, and now flooding. The weather made driving on the roads treacherous. I was worried that many volunteers wouldn’t be able to make the drive to the farm and the work load would be too much for a few. Once again, there was no need to worry. We had so many people brave the elements to help. This photo collage shows some of the holiday volunteers. They also gave up being with family on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
When we were in the thick of the pandemic in 2020, I often felt that volunteers were left out of the thanks bestowed on essential services personnel. Volunteers are essential to our community. Especially those taking care of the vulnerable. And the vulnerable are usually the hardest hit during extreme weather. Our volunteers made a pet food deliver on December 22nd to Surrey Food Bank and Surrey Urban Mission to make sure beloved pets of the vulnerable had food over the holidays.
Did you happen to listen to the Royal Christmas Speech? I was so pleased that volunteers were highlighted. Kindred volunteers are royalty, they are essential and to quote the speech “give one of the most precious commodities – their time.”
I remember when I first started the farm, I was focused on helping animals and children. What dawned on me quickly was that Kindred also helps volunteers and members: to be part of a kind community, to feel proud of making a difference, to be accepted unconditionally, and I think the most important is to feel physical and emotional rewards. I have witnessed the light, laughter, and happiness that comes from volunteering at Kindred. It is a magical place to be at Christmas time and all year round.