Volunteer Feature 3: Maureen (Mo)

Posted: April 12, 2011 at 5:57 am

Its National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 10-16) and in recognition of our amazing volunteers. I will be doing some volunteer features throughout the week.  Not only do out volunteers bring their hard work and muscle–mucking out stalls and moping floors, but they also bring soft skills that help SAINTS. Many of our volunteers bring professional and personal experience and expertise that have benefited SAINTS and allowed SAINTS to grow and become better at what we do.  

Mo has been volunteering at SAINTS for 6 years and she was SAINTS` very first volunteer. She brought with her vital knowledge and experience from working with barn animals and in particular horses, which has allowed SAINTS to start and expand its farm animal sanctuary program. For Mo SAINTS is making a difference not only in the lives of the animals but also in the helping educate and bring awareness.

I believe that SAINTS is making a dent in the way humans view our companion & food animals, it is pretty hard to come & visit us & see all that is happening there & not go away with some food for thought.

For the other volunteers, Mo`s greatest contribution is helping get the dogs out of the house so that they can clean. Mo has a following of a dozen or so devoted canine fans that love to spend the day with her in the barn and help her. And by help I mean help clean up by snacking on the tasty brown treats everywhere (ick). Al, a 17 year old lab cross adores Mo and will jump the fence to meet Mo every morning in the riding ring no matter the weather.

Mo and Al on Christmas Day 2010

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Mo has 3 dogs and 3 cats of her own. She bring her dogs with her to SAINTS when she volunteers and they mostly help her by hunting rats.  During her 9-5 she is a government employee and works in an office. But even on her commutes to and from work she is always talking about SAINTS to her fellow commuters on the train and thanks to that she has brought in many good volunteers and found wonderful forever homes for many of our saints.  

Mo giving keynote address and 2010 gala

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I asked her what she loves about SAINTS:

Lots & lots of things to absolutely love about SAINTS … like seeing Jewel go from a screaming ( in pain ) puddle of a dog, to a tail wagging, pond loving, mud digging girl–miss you Jewel, and building a bond with the animals that seems so strong I think sometimes they talk inside my head ( quick go call the guys in the white suits). But ultimately the best thing is at the end of the day ( whether it was a good day or a bad day) is leaving SAINTS & knowing that stalls are cleaned, fresh water is out, everyone has had a soft touch , kind words, a special treat , and several walks to the pond & back . It is the feeling of somehow making a small difference in an animal’s world.

Jewel (RIP)

jewel

 

I asked her what the toughest part is:

The hardest part of SAINTS is saying goodbye, even when I know it is coming, it surprises me when I feel sucker-punched.

Mo really is a super volunteer–she is the team lead for the barn and she has devoted her Saturdays and Sundays to SAINTS (including holidays) since 2005. She has the best work ethic (both paid and unpaid) of anyone I know–I can scarcely recall a day she has missed and she never leaves until the job is done right. She helps SAINTS bring in and train new volunteers, she helps SAINTS find homes for its animals, and she also helps with raising funds.  She really is the pioneer weekend warrior. Her years and thousands of hours of hard work, sweat, and sometimes blood (squirrel bite) and tears have helped SAINTS build, develop, grow, and become what is today. She has touched, kissed, held, and known nearly every saint and I know they are watching her from the rainbow bridge. The saints alumni are smiling down at her. Cheers Mo. There are no words that can describe how truly amazing you are. 

Gawd this is sappy (but true). But I don`t want to end Mo`s feature all teary because Mo has such a great sense of humor so I will end it by telling a funny Mo story.  

Once upon a time on a cool winter day Carol arrives at SAINTS from work for her lunch break and heads to the barn to find Mo and take the dogs for a walk around the pond. She cannot find Mo anywhere, so she starts to walk to the pond with dogs and another volunteer. As she is walking she stops mid step as she spots a homeless person down by pond. She exclaims it utter bewilderment and curiosity to the accompanying volunteer, “What is a homeless person doing walking around our pond?“ As they approach closer they see that they recognize this homeless wanderer. “Oh its just Mo wearing an ugly toque` declared Carol to much laughter and merriment.

The pond

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OK that was more a funny Carol story staring Mo. If you have any funny Mo stories please comment 🙂 Thanks for always making me laugh Mo on top of all your other great qualities you are a lot of fun to be around.

 Mo and Casper (adopted)

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 In case you missed them check out the preceding Volunteer Features:

Volunteer Feature 1: Erin

Volunteer Feature 2: Brenda

For information about volunteering please see http://www.saintsrescue.ca/helping/volunteer.htm

15 Comments on "Volunteer Feature 3: Maureen (Mo)"

  • Bunny Horne says

    I am a new volunteer and work under the guidance of MO and I just love working with and for her. She is thorough, takes the time to explain exactly what she wants from you so that there are no surprises or goof ups. She is an excellent mentor. Her adoration and compassion for the barn Saints is contagious. It is always exciting to join in her walks down to the pond with the barn dogs. The barn Saints have her wrapped around their paws and hoofs – they adore her. It’s music to my ears to hear her speaking lovingly to Miss Ellie Mae as she ponders getting out of bed, followed by her bellow “GWEN”. If you’ve worked with her you know what I’m talking about. MO is a ray of sunshine in what is frequently an overcast rainy day.

  • Alison says

    Well said Bunny! I agree, MO is fantastic and I look forward to learning new things from her every week 🙂

  • Brenda says

    SAINTS is blessed beyond words to have you Mo – and I can attest that I’m very grateful when it’s time for the dogs to go “play” in the barn with you on Sunday, and I can really get cleaning!

  • Helga says

    Yay, Mo! She introduced me to Saints (we were part of the same group of raucous West Coast Express commuters). And I owe her for Moochie the Maniac a.k.a. the Rocketman. Being Mo, she had to stop to see what had scooted across the road in front of her car and, of course being Mo, to scoop him up when she saw the state he was in. Mooch and a lot of other critter consider her a fun, irreverent guardian angel.

  • Carol Ann says

    Bless you Mo and I’m sure Carol could write a book about you 🙂

  • Nicole N. says

    Mo ROCKS!!! She is a great teacher and is very patient when training a newbie like me, someone with zero barn experience until I started volunteering at SAINTS. Mo adores each and every animal at SAINTS and always has a spare moment to make sure she gives each animal she comes in contact with a little love – and you can see that all the animals adore her as much as she adores them. Thanks for all you do Mo!

  • lynne says

    do not get to see mo too much but do also appreciate the fact that when mo arrives we can really get to the cleaning. i often think i am glad i am in the house cleaning up dog poop when the weather outside truly sucks. mo and her crew are trully appreciated for all they do. way to go, and i do not work with her but still know wahat the gwaen bellow means, we can hear her in the house. lol

  • Mo says

    Ha ha very funny Jenn… granted the touque was pretty ugly & I think my outfit also included a rain slicker that was a couple sizes to big & a pair of sloppy boots.. but homeless…really ??? It is a good thing SAINTS is not fashion savy or I would have been shown the door years ago :- ) Thanks for the kind words from everyone, and I am really looking forward to sunnier days & our beach picnics AKA A Corona break.

    Very glad to read that Maude Mandy & footloose fancy free Sherlock are all OK

  • Bunny Horne says

    Hey y’all, I’m still getting requests for those little rug hooked mats and was putting the money in a Miss Ellie bank for the September Gala. Even have sold a few patterns of “Waiting for my Forever Home” project where partial proceeds will go towards the September event. BUT I’m now wondering if I should in fact be using those funds to purchase a new outfit for MO.

    MO – new clothing??? Saints Gala??? MO – new clothing??? Saints Gala? Man that’s a tough one.

  • Carol says

    way back in the very beginning…mo called one day and made arrangements to come out to saints and maybe help with mucking out our little barn..i waited around and gee another no-show (you would be amazed at how much time i used to waste waiting for no-shows…doesn’t happen too much anymore cuz i usually now forget anyone is coming til they actually do show up around here!)

    anyway..i was so used to no-shows back then that i really did not even care. and then the phone rang…A. she had gotten lost…B. she didn’t have my phone number with her so she had driven all of the way BACK home to maple ridge to call and tell me. (hmm..lost and didn’t think to bring the phone number…she sounds just like me!)
    and mo said..ok…i will be right out now… i suddenly started paying attention to this person on the phone cuz gee that is another long drive that she had already made that day! i said it is ok, you don’t have to drive all of the way out here again today, you can pick a different day.
    mo said..no, i said i would come and so i am coming.

    omg! could it be…a person who honors their word???..no excuses, no looking for convenient loop holes???? amazing.

    and mo has amazed me every day since then..when she commits, she gives it her all. she is here for one reason only…she has 100% committed to the saints animals..and mo stands firm by her word.

    mo was here with me at 2 am sitting on a hay bale out in the field when jeanette could not get up. she was here within half an hour on last friday when i called her and told her that lahanie was not well.

    we don’t even have to tell her when saints really needs her…mo just automatically grabs her keys and comes.

    she has been here since the beginning…that is a lot of journeys.

  • Mo says

    Again thanks for kind words.. there are still some shy volunteers out there who need to speak up.. Hmm perhaps I will send a few E-mails under thier names to jenn & if you think you have seen my sense of humour..wait till I am pretending to be you… you know who are… tell us about yourself

  • erin says

    mo the day that stands out for me is the one i yelled down to you from the house asking if you had tyra jane with you. and when you said you didnt, and i said neither did i, you were up at the gate with me so fuckin fast, knowing exactly what that meant. i like having you there because i can put complete faith in everything you say, no questions. kinda like carol left an instruction booklet laying around but your the only one who read it!

  • K.O. says

    I just want to say thanks to you Mo for just being you. You tell it like it is and I respect you for that! You have your following of animals and people who you have taken under your wing and showed us the do’s and dont’s of the barn. I really do enjoy working with you at the barn, and having the time that you share with the two and four legged friends!!!

  • Doug says

    Mo, the youngest of five siblings. All of whom appreciate and admirer her selfless devotion to all the animals that are lucky enough to come into to Mo’s world. And still a baby, even if she not quiet 50. Love you, your #1 brother.

  • Carol says

    hah! your brother blew the upcoming birthday secret not me…it is a free “the BIG 5-0” game now…oh where did i put those pink flamingos???!

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