Volunteer Spotlight: Diandra

Did you know that Ten Lives Cat Rescue is run entirely by volunteers? We currently have over 70 volunteers in various roles helping us achieve our mission—to save homeless, abused, and abandoned cats by providing veterinary care, rehabilitation services, and then placing them into loving adoptive homes.

Diandra has made an incredible impact as an Adoption Coordinator with Ten Lives, and has been volunteering with us since November 2018. During her time with us, she has assisted in finding almost 100 cats find their forever homes! Diandra has three resident cats named Freyja, Syn, and Beyla, and recently fostered two kittens who went to their forever homes earlier this month.

1. How did you originally hear about us, and what made you decide to become a volunteer?

I had wanted to volunteer with a shelter or rescue for a few years, but was working multiple jobs and didn’t have the time to physically volunteer somewhere, and lived in a small apartment with my three cats so I didn’t have space to foster. I had first heard of Ten Lives in the summer of 2018 via the Providence Flea. In November, I saw a Facebook ad seeking volunteers to be Adoption Coordinators and it mentioned that this was a remote position. I got SO excited. I was really worried about the phone call aspect of it because I feel I am terrible on the phone, but I saw it as a good way to work on improving that. It sounded like the perfect opportunity to get involved with the rescue – I applied and have been with the rescue ever since!

2. What is your favorite story or memory while volunteering with us?

Honestly, my favorite memory is the timeframe when I was just starting out – I was just blown away by the work Melissa and Heidi (Ten Lives’ founders) had put into this rescue in the short time since it had been founded, and I really can’t believe how much more it’s grown looking back on it today. The volunteers in this organization are just fantastic people – it is the best team around. Every single person is dedicated, passionate, and just overall amazing. My favorite memory is from when I began because the rescue has come SO far and has saved SO many cats since then. It’s truly been an honor and a privilege to watch it grow and to be a part of that growth!

3. What have you learned during your time as a volunteer?

I learn something new every day here! I’m really appreciative of the fact that I’ve learned so much about cat behavior and health issues. I also have learned that it takes a village to run a rescue.

4. What do you wish other people knew about us?

I wish folks knew how easy it is to get involved with us, and I also wish people could see how hard this team works behind the scenes. I don’t think everyone fully realizes that we are 100% volunteer-run, and that most of our volunteers have full-time jobs or family obligations. Also, fostering is wonderful and not as hard as you think it might be. We all love all of these cats, and some of us “foster fail” at times, but it really is the best feeling in the world when the cats are sent home. I promise! There’s nothing better than seeing the impact you’ve made on a cat’s ability to be adopted out and knowing that they’re going to such a loving home, especially if the cat was undersocialized. My resident cat, Beyla, was undersocialized when we adopted her (a couple of years prior to joining Ten Lives). I had never needed to put so much time and effort into gaining a cat’s trust. It was a learning experience, and the most fulfilling feeling in the world seeing her come out of her shell slowly over time. The transformations these rescue cats make when given patience, time, and lots of love are really amazing and it brings me joy every day when our fosters share updates on their foster cat’s progress.

5. What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?

I am a Lead Customer Care Specialist in the healthtech industry, but when I’m not working or volunteering, I am normally either hanging out with my three cats, hiking, or gardening.

6. How do you think Ten Lives Cat Rescue will change over the next five years?

I’m excited to see Ten Lives continue to grow. I hope that our team of volunteers expands, as we can always use the help, and there are several ways to be involved remotely. It would be awesome to someday have a team dedicated to fundraising, and it would be great to see our Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) efforts expand.

7. Why should others consider volunteering with us?

We’re an incredibly supportive team who helps each other out and ensures we’re set up for success. It’s not very time-consuming, and every single volunteer makes a huge impact on this rescue and the number of cats we can save.

8. What have you gained while volunteering with us?

It gives me a sense of fulfillment and like I’m contributing positively to the community around me. I’ve gained so much knowledge. Most importantly, I’ve gained lifelong friends.

9. How much of an impact do you feel your volunteer work has had with Ten Lives Cat Rescue?

I’ve been with the rescue for a while now and am one of the Adoption Coordinators who has been with Ten Lives the longest, which is an awesome feeling! Compared to a lot of the other roles like our director, our intake/TNR folks, and our fosters, I have some days where feel like my impact isn’t that big. But I’ve been reminded that each of our roles plays an integral part in this rescue, and my job is super important because I get to help these cats find their perfect homes! I actually just counted, and as of the middle of August, it looks like I’ve coordinated the adoptions for 90 cats! I’d say that’s a great impact. Hopefully I’ll hit 100 by my three year anniversary with the rescue in November. 🙂

Are you interested in volunteering with Ten Lives Cat Rescue? Read about our open volunteer roles and fill out a Volunteer Application, become a foster, sponsor a Forgotten Feline, and purchase needed supplies through our Amazon Wishlist!

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