A VolunCation Story

From HART for Animals:

When on vacation, many people want just to relax and do things that are fun.  There is a special kind of person for whom doing something relaxing and fun on vacation is volunteering and being of service to others.  In essence, taking a “VolunCation”.  These are the kind of people that Caroline Kitt, a ninth grader from Bethesda, MD, and her mom, Cheryl, are…generous, kind, compassionate, and excited about being of service.

Caroline needed to do some service learning hours this summer and, with her mom, decided that when she was visiting family at Deep Creek Lake this summer, she wanted to volunteer at HART for Animals. They planned in advance to complete in the spring the required HART training sessions in Volunteer Orientation (Level I) and Animal Safety and Handling (Level II).  That way, when they arrived for their summer vacation, they would be ready to go.  Cheryl decided to complete the training along with her daughter, and ended up loving being at HART so much that she volunteered right along side Caroline.  They each volunteered over 35 hours with us in about two weeks time.

When Caroline returned home, she sent us a reflection piece she wrote on her experience.   It was a chronicle of her time at HART in which she details her understanding of the importance of Level I hours as a way to learn “how much needs to be done for HART to be able to function as wonderfully as it does”; her experience as a Level II volunteer during which she “really enjoyed walking the dogs because it helped me understand more about each of the dog personalities”; and her time volunteering in the Vet Clinic where she observed spay/neuter surgeries and shadowed the vets during client appointments.  All of this helped her better understand what a possible career in animal welfare and medicine might be like while at the same time donating her time, energy and talents back to us.  Her experience was a true service learning opportunity… both service and learning.

We are so grateful to both Caroline and Cheryl for their time volunteering at HART for Animals during their vacation.  It was generosity and compassion in action that they not only donated their vacation time but labeled it as one of their best vacations ever!  We thank them for their time with us and are honored to name Caroline and Cheryl as this month’s spotlighted volunteers.  Already, we are looking forward to their next vacation here in Garrett County!

Thank you to all our HART Volunteers who have donated a total of 1,220 hours in the month of July!

Caroline and Cheryl Kitt at HART for Animals