If you have been around Furry Friends for any length of time you most likely have run into Diane Stevens. She has been one of the pillars of the organization since 2014 when she retired from her job in the Printing and Publishing industry.
Her love for animals brought her to Furry Friends where she quickly jumped into performing a number of tasks. She had a shift at the adoption center that Furry Friends once had and she also became the photographer, graphic designer, publicist, marketing person, videographer and more. She soon joined the Executive Board and also became the lead for the annual auction. In those early days she put in 30 to 40 hours a week of volunteer service to the kitties.
Fast forward to 2022 Diane is still very involved with Furry Friends. Here are some of the tasks she takes care of:
- She takes weekly pictures of the cats at the Halfway House. The photos are used for promoting each cat on the adoption site and social media to help them get adopted.
- She creates the monthly volunteer newsletter, the public newsletter and special newsletters that are emailed to volunteers and supporters.
- In charge of the sponsors and their recognition.
- Manages the FF social media and creates a lot of the posts
- Involved in the fundraising and events especially the Fall Auction
- Creates news releases and is the contact with the media
- Oversees the Furry Friends Furever Adoption Stories and Cat Tale Blog
- Weekly volunteer hours is down to about 20 a week
- Creates most of the graphics on social media and in the newsletter. Also creates marketing and information documents such as brochures, welcome letters, rack cards, how you can help flyer, signage and more.
- Oversees the Furry Friends web content and uploads adoption stories, volunteer spotlights and news about Furry Friends and cats to the site.
- She is still a board member and holds the title of Marketing Director and Creative Director.
We asked Diane a few questions
Why do you volunteer? My life has been blessed in many ways and I am now in a position to give back to society. I have a passion for animals and it is up to us humans to help them out. There are so many cats out there living terrible lives. And so many people that are in need of someone helping with their cats. Furry Friends is always receiving distress calls from people with a cat problem. Such as an elderly person having to go into assisted living and they cannot take the cat with them, or a person that has to move into a place that does not take cats or the mom cat that shows up at your back door with a litter of kittens etc. Payment for me comes in the form of knowing that I am making the world a better and safer place for kitties that wouldn’t have a fighting chance otherwise.
Do you also volunteer for other organizations? If so, what are they and what do you do? Yes, I am a church musician for St John Lutheran Church in Vancouver, WA. I play guitar and sing every Sunday for the service. I also do assorted jobs as needed for the church.
What is your favorite part about volunteering for Furry Friends? Being around the kitties and helping them out is a highlight. Also my fellow volunteers are great, giving, loving people. It is such a pleasure to be around them and work on a common cause. I also love using all my creative and business skills for something I am passionate about.
Do you have any pets at home? Yes two cats that were rescued. Benny and Emma are amazing and I love them so much. My husband Mickey and I have so much fun with our fur babies.
Tell us about other hobbies or interests that you have? I played ice hockey until I turned 60 years old. I still am active, just not at that aggressive level. I enjoy gardening and hiking for my activity now. I am an avid nature photographer and you can also see me with a camera slung around my neck. I hold a bachelor’s degree in art and had my own art business for several years. Currently I just create things for fun. I paint art quality rocks as a fundraiser for Furry Friends. All money from these gems goes to the kitties. My professional musician husband Mickey and I had a musical variety show for many years. I would change into assorted costumes and assume different personalities. We both played our guitars and sang. We used wireless equipment so we were free to run around the audience or climb on tables dancing and being wild.