Rescuing animals in need of a little extra love and care and giving them a second chance has been a cornerstone for volunteer Stephanie Owens. The 35-year-old enjoys the animal antics and being able to escape daily stress while working in the barn. Her profile follows:
Daytime Occupation: Physical therapy assistant and stay-at-home mom
City of birth: Fort Wayne
Family: Married with two children
Volunteer position/organization: Board member for Lennoxs Legacy Rescue
Time volunteering with the organization: I started around 2013. I donated to the organization first, then went to volunteering, fostering animals and serving as a board member. I continue to volunteer and foster regularly.
Why did you first get involved with the organization? I wanted to volunteer for a rescue or shelter that went above and beyond and after finding Lennoxs Legacy on Facebook, I saw that they fought for the misfits of the animal world, including dogs, cats, horses and other farm animals. They helped save dogs from breeding mills and I knew that was where I wanted my extra time and donations to go.
Do you have a favorite memory from volunteering? I really enjoy our annual fundraising gala and when we have events at the rescue, because we get to interact with people in the community. Also, I enjoy volunteering weekly in the barn because there are always some silly antics the animals seem to get into.
What is the biggest personal benefit you receive from volunteering? Helping where needed and being around the animals is good for the soul. It helps me escape the regular world and daily stresses.
What has surprised you the most about volunteering with the organization? How much I would enjoy doing the dirty work. Being around the animals is worth it. It's also great to see how much our supporters jump in to help with donations.
What do you find most challenging? Saying good-bye to an animal I have really connected to.
What is your strongest belief/personal philosophy about the cause? We fight for the misfits and the overlooked animals and give them a real fighting chance at life. Then we really get to see those animals strive and gain confidence. It's just an amazing thing to see and be a part of.
What is the best advice you would give someone interested in volunteering or working for your cause? You can volunteer as little or as much as you want. I go to the barn to do chores once a week and it only takes about 30 minutes. I tend to stay longer because I have to give everyone treats and love.
What are your hopes for and how do you see the organization/cause changing in the next five years? I hope we continue to grow larger to save more animals, be it more supporters or expanding at the actual rescue. It will be nice to be able to have larger events again.
What are your hobbies/something people might not know about you outside of your volunteering? Plants, give me all the plants.
Nominated by: Katie Wilson, executive director
Reason for nomination: “I am nominating Stephanie, she has been an extremely dedicated volunteer for many years. She has been with us through our ups and downs, no job is too big or too small and she always gives it her all. She works hard to cast a positive image on our rescue and always has a smile and a fantastic attitude. Her enthusiasm is contagious and we truly appreciate all of her hard work.”
Organizations that wish to highlight an individual for the Volunteer Spotlight feature can contact Jessica Garvin at 260-461-8364 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.