Today, we bring you another story chronicling a wonderful Furry Friends volunteer. Meet Stacie Nakashima, a person’s whose passion in life is to care for others, regardless of whether they have paws or opposable thumbs. Stacie first learned about Furry Friends through an article in the Columbian showcasing the organization. She was already interested in finding new volunteer opportunities to give back to her community, so the article’s mention of our constant need for new volunteers was great timing. Pair that with her passion for animals and she thought it would be the perfect fit! She began last September, and ever since has been a volunteer fill-in at the Halfway House. If you are in need of someone to cover your shift, she’s the gal to call! According to Stacie, her favorite part of volunteering is after all the cleanup is done and you get to spend time with the cats, “giving them pets and attention in return for purrs and nuzzles”.
Stacie is a registered nurse by profession, explaining that “I feel passionate about being able to care for all living things, humans and cats alike!” This is evident, from her current fostering of a shy pup named Kenzi through the Lancaster Four Dog Rescue to her own rescued Chihuahua mix named Rosie. If she had to choose, she would say that she is a dog person. She loves cats almost as much, though: a sentiment apparent in her efforts to come in and help despite the snowy weather as of late. Stacie explains, “I grew up in Hawaii, so the recent snowstorm caused some difficulties in being able to make it out of my driveway to the Halfway House—I have a terrible time trying to drive in snow. I ended up asking my significant other to drop me off and was glad to be able to make it to help feed and play with the cats!” Furthermore, she isn’t deterred from helping our kitties despite being allergic to cats. “I find it too difficult to stay away, so I have learned to put with a little sniffling and itchy eyes,” she remarks. Besides her love for animals, she volunteers because she considers Furry Friends and its volunteers essential to the wellbeing of furry felines in the community. “I can tell that the cats appreciate having a warm bed and seeing the friendly faces of all the volunteers who are trying to help them find their forever homes,” she says. Outside of her volunteering, Stacie loves to take advantage of her days off to go on adventures with her pup and significant other. From walking trails to hiking to visiting new places, they particularly love to travel to Hood River, the coast, and Bend (pre-COVID, of course!). During the COVID lockdown, Stacie started a vegetable garden in her backyard and built a birdhouse. She is looking forward to planting new veggies in the spring and seeing if any birds build a nest in the birdhouse again.
Stacie is dedicated to anyone who needs help, from people to animals. We’re so grateful that she has our backs for shifts, making sure that no matter what happens, the furry-purries are taken care of. Thank you Stacie!
We would like to thank Tina Starks for writing this interview. Tina has been a volunteer with Furry Friends since 2013. She has worked a shift at the Halfway House at least once a week for all these years, she helps at the assorted Furry Friends events, she has participated in our pet therapy program and has written many volunteer spotlights for Furry Friends. This bright young lady has a passion for helping animals and people and we are so proud to have her on the Furry Friends team.