March 23, 2023
By Christian Winthrop
Local nonprofit West Place Animal Sanctuary invites adults and students in high school or college to attend a Volunteer Open House on Sunday, April 2 from 12p.m. to 3 p.m. Guests will have opportunities to learn more about a variety of volunteer openings that support more than 70 farm animals rescued from cruelty, abuse, and neglect.
Students seeking hands-on farm experience will learn more about West Place’s popular Educational Internship Programs, which run throughout the school-year and during the summer months. No registration is required and more information can be found at www.westplace.org/volunteer-open-house.
West Place operates seven days per week, 365 days per year, and has a variety of roles available. Potential volunteers will learn about duties and responsibilities for positions in direct animal care, gardening, food cultivation, landscaping, handy work, IT support, marketing, fundraising, videography, grant writing, content creation, social media, blog writing, podcasting, audio engineering, musicianship, and more.
“We are always in need of reliable and compassionate volunteers,” says Wendy Taylor, founder and executive director. “Since 2007, our small organization has been able to accomplish big things with the help of dedicated people who believe in our mission. If you have a skill and a desire to help, we likely have a role for you.”
The goal of the Volunteer Open House is to encourage volunteerism at West Place, and to streamline the volunteer and internship application and onboarding processes in a group setting. Guests will meet directly with staff and volunteers who will review policies and procedures, and applications and schedules will be available on site.
West Place asks adult volunteer to commit to one four-hour shift per week for a minimum of one year. Training is provided and prior farm animal experience is a bonus, but not required. Student applications for the summer internship program are currently being accepted and spots are being filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Student interns are asked to commit to at least one four-hour shift per week, but can pick up additional shifts to accelerate their learning. Volunteers and student interns will receive access to an internal app for communication, training, scheduling, and more.
“By eliminating the back-and-forth of phone calls, emails, and individual site visits, we hope to bring more volunteers on board at a quicker pace,” notes Taylor. Spring is one of the busiest seasons at West Place. In addition to animal care, there is building and pasture maintenance, spring cleaning, and a number of projects that can only be completed with the arrival of warmer temperatures. It is conceivable for individuals to learn more and complete an application at the event, and begin volunteering the very next day. Taylor adds, “Potential volunteers and interns who are serious about committing time to our animals each week are invited to jump-start the process.”