Jaimie began volunteering with Furry Friends in 2019.
She had been looking for volunteer opportunities in the community and came across us during an online search. She started with one Halfway House shift a week, then two, and then joined the Board of Directors, doing grants writing and fundraiser events. Ultimately, she not only became President, she also acted as Treasurer for awhile. Determined to be the best and most knowledgeable leader possible, she even went to school and received her vet assistant diploma. As President, Jaimie leads all business/organizational functions, is a vet assistant on the medical team, and serves on the adoption and events teams. She prides herself on knowing every facet of Furry Friends’ day-to-day operations so that she can step in to help if needed. Currently averaging between 20 and 25 hours a week, for many years she volunteered between 40 and 50 hours a week.
Jaimie’s biggest challenge is not being able to help all of the cats in the community who so desperately need it. She finds it extremely difficult having to sometimes say “no” due to space or financial constraints when she yearns to say “yes.” She also finds it a challenge to not take every kitty home with her!
What pleases her most is being able to see firsthand the difference Furry Friends makes in the lives of the cats we save. Watching them go from being sick and injured, abused and scared to living healthy, happy lives is what keeps her going. One of her proudest moments as a volunteer when she first began involved a cat named Baby Girl that no one could touch because of how aggressive she was. She had been with us for two years, and people had to enter her room using a plastic barrier. Jaimie eventually won her over to the point where she could pick her up and kiss her and, even better, get her adopted. She’s delighted to report that Baby Girl is living happily in her forever home to this day.
At home, Jaimie, who’s married to her childhood sweetheart and has a 14-year-old son, has two dogs and 11 cats, four from Furry friends, and works as the Chief Operating Officer for Ironworkers USA Federal Credit Union. For the last 18 years, she’s volunteered for Share of Vancouver’s large fundraisers, leading the check in/check out crew. The local issue she’s most passionate about is animal welfare: educating the community about animal welfare in the hope that by working together, things will improve.
A multi-faceted woman, Jaimie’s hobbies include writing books and poetry, painting, crocheting, “anything crafty,” and throwing birthday parties for all of her pets.
Furry Friends Volunteer Spotlights are compiled and written by Nomi Berger who is the bestselling author of seven novels, one work of non-fiction, two volumes of poetry, and hundreds of articles. She is a volunteer writer for Furry Friends in Vancouver, WA and also volunteers her writing skills to animal rescue groups in Canada and the USA.