Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is 100% volunteer-powered? All of our volunteers have the same goal in mind: to help save and advocate for cats in our community. They donate their time and help us foster cats in need, run events to raise life-saving funds, coordinate transportation for the cats in our care to get to and from their vet appointments, and much more. The best reward for all of them is seeing the cats thrive and to get them adopted into loving forever homes. Many of our volunteers do this while working full time jobs with families and pets of their own while asking for nothing in exchange.
National Volunteer Week was established in 1974, and is an opportunity to recognize the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger communities, and be a force that transforms the world. In the last two years, Ten Lives Cat Rescue has saved 477 cats, and has grown to 80 volunteers. Their roles range from intake, fostering, coordinating adoptions, creating adoption agreements, post-adoption services, and anything and everything in between. Here are some of their stories:
“I’ve been a Ten Lives foster for two years now and it has easily been the most rewarding experience of my life. From tiny 92 gram neonate bottle babies, to a 13-year-old senior cat who was finally rescued after fighting to survive outside for a year, to a paralyzed cat who lived a life full of neglect—they are all welcome here. Twenty-eight foster cats have come through my apartment since May 2018 and I’m only just getting started. I have learned SO much through hands-on trial and error; but what’s great about Ten Lives is there is always a volunteer who is eager to help. We have a really great team of selfless and caring volunteers and I can’t wait to see what this year brings us—even if we are doing virtual meet and greets and no contact adoptions. Some cats pull on your heartstrings a little more than others, but they are all deserving of a loving forever home, regardless of their beginning. I’m so thankful I’m able to give so many cats a second chance.”
“I became involved with TLCR in the spring of 2018 after fostering (and ultimately adopting) my best feline friend, Lily. Following TLCR’s social media pages after that really opened my eyes to the immense lack of resources and the huge unfulfilled need to help abandoned, injured, and abused cats and kittens across our state. I truly had no idea how large the problem really is. I firmly believe that we all can make a difference in this world (especially collectively) and I was so grateful for finding my Lily that I felt compelled to help too. Every little bit makes a difference. Although I couldn’t foster at the time, a volunteer opportunity that could be done completely remotely came up at the beginning of 2019 and I became TLCR’s post-adoption coordinator.
What I didn’t know at the time I volunteered for the position was how rewarding it would actually be or how important TLCR’s mission would become to my heart. (Nor did I think that I would soon go on to actually foster 6 cats!) I continue to be blown away by our organization’s collective accomplishments and how closely knit the TLCR “family” is. If you volunteer or adopt from us, I can promise you that you will be working with some of the most dedicated, selfless, loving, compassionate, supportive, kind and genuine human beings that exist—their inspiration never ceases to amaze me.
Even if you cannot foster or adopt, or have only limited time available, there are many, ways to become involved and to help do your part in making a difference for Rhode Island cats too—it can be as simple as sharing TLCR’s posts or even when making regular purchases through Amazon, simply using our Amazon Smile link!”
“Fostering and volunteering with Ten Lives has been such a rewarding experience that I feel fortunate to share with my daughter. Together we have helped to save countless forgotten cats that were worth saving. Ten Lives is an amazing organization that is committed to saving all cats, and puts each cat’s best interest first. I am proud to be a member of this amazing lifesaving team.”
“I’ve fostered for other rescues in the past, and the difference with Ten Lives is that they put a significant effort into making their volunteers feel connected and supported through an online community. Other volunteers and the leadership of the organization are always available to offer advice and supplies, so there’s never a time that you feel like you’re doing this alone. Over a dozen cats and kittens have passed through my home into their forever homes because of this rescue’s efforts.
People ask me if it’s hard to give up my foster cats, and yes it is. But to me, being a foster is like being a school teacher. You teach life skills, give compassion, and you celebrate when they’ve learned and grown enough to move onto the next step in their life, feeling great that you made a difference.”
“I’ve been a volunteer with Ten Lives Cat Rescue for over a year now! My husband and I rescued a bonded pair of four-month-old kittens named Charlie and Ghost in October 2018, and afterwards, I felt an overwhelming need to give back to the amazing organization that saved my boys from an uncertain fate. As the Adoption Agreements Coordinator, I’m able to help the cats in Ten Lives’ care get one step closer to going to their forever homes. I was also fortunate enough to be part of the planning committee for Ten Lives’ first event, A Night Out for a Good Paws. I’m so proud to volunteer for Ten Lives, and I can’t wait to help them continue to advocate and save cats now and in the future.”
“I started volunteering as a foster and then after we adopted Motzi I decided I wanted to remain involved with Ten Lives because of the great work they do with rescue cats and because they do a great job advocating for cats living in the community through TNR. I love that Ten Lives is all about giving cats a second chance.”