A couple times on sits, I’ve been able to contribute to the local community by volunteering for a local nonprofit. In Botswana, my host helped arrange a volunteer gig with the local Rape Crisis Network. I helped the counselors construct a database to track the types of cases they were seeing to help the Executive Director with reporting and fund raising. It was a fascinating experience as hearing the stories helped me to understand the nuances of the country in a way that I never would have without access to that most intimate of information. In Australia, (Adelaide) last winter, I did some very short term volunteer work for the koala rescue center. When the fires hit, the need was so extensive, we washed blankets and sheets and learned what koala poo looks like. We also bought and delivered some healthy snacks for the volunteers as all they had was carbs and sugar.
I wonder if anyone else has had similar experiences or has interest in cultivating these kinds of opportunities for sitters. I think contacting local nonprofits, especially those who serve animals and their people would be natural contact points.
Anyone else interested in this?
@Barb thank you for opening up this topic. I believe there are many members in the community who give back to local communities by volunteering when housesitting.
When I was sitting in Spain for 8 months I volunteered with ARCH https://www.horserescuespain.org/ in Barbados with http://arkanimalwelfarebarbados.com/ and other smaller organisations when I have the opportunity. Where possible I remain involved in any way I can after leaving as we do build wonderful relationships also it’s very possible to help in many ways without being “on the ground” Smaller charities are often the ones in most need and usually have less red tape to navigate making it easier for them to engage volunteers on a temp basis.
I have thought about this many times. The average sit seems too short, but when you will be in one place at least more than a month I would be interested. Starting a 6 month housesit tomorrow, I plan on taking a look at volunteer opportunities. Thanks for the reminder!!
It helps me feel more a part of the local community as well as making some new friends and connections.
Do tell what you find to do to help in your local area. Good luck and happy adventures!
Such a good idea for a long sit.
An update - We are housesitting (a total of six months in Reno, Nevada, USA. Back in October, I became an official volunteer at the Nevada Humane Society. I did training for both dog walking and cat socialization. It has been wonderful to meet so many amazing pets, of course, there are a few I would love to take home with me - if I had a home (we are nomads). It is a great experience and I will definitely try to do this again.
We once volunteered in Tunisia
Little children placed in care
By their families because of their handicap.
It was sad but rewarding.
Even a pencil and little note pad given to them was heart breaking.
They weren’t able to read or write .
The little drawings ( priceless ) to us.
Thank you for your volunteering and your giant heart.
I have pre-arranged volunteer opportunities on my past few pet sits and I’m going to do it regularly from now on (now that I’m vaccinated). Honestly, the combination of pet sitting (which I love) and giving back to the community has truly been the perfect combination for me. And, in each location, it’s made me feel more connected. I highly, highly recommend it. Of course, the pet is the top priority and I’ve never been gone more than 5hrs at a time (most volunteer shifts I’ve found are 2-5hrs). I have excellent recommendations for San Diego (Porchlight Community Services doing ‘pantry prep’) and San Francisco (St Anthony’s serving meals to the homeless) so far. Perhaps we need a forum page to share recommended volunteer gigs!
Hi @cnj840 welcome to the Forum thank you so much for joining and for sharing your wonderful intro and information about how you volunteer. We wish you many more sitting opportunities now that travel is opening back up once again.
Thank you for being part of our caring community, enjoy the conversations and connecting with other members.
Angela & The Team
Thanks for your enthusiastic response. I love it when I can work that out and totally agree that it deepens the connection to the sit and the local community. Welcome to the forum.
I think this is a great idea. While visiting San Miguel de Allende, Mexico for several months (not as Sitters), we volunteered with the local humane society. We would go three times a week. Our responsibilities included walking the dogs and playing with cats and kittens in an effort to get them used to being around people. It was very rewarding. There were a number of expat’s who participated. If ever we do a long-term sit, I would definitely want to look into this.
I love it. Especially great to share the love with other furry friends all over the world. It’s really helped me feel more a part of the local communities while traveling.
Peace to you.
So I would like to revisit this topic. Some have shared some of the volunteer work they have done while sitting that is related to animal services. I would like to share that because of my sitting adventures I have been able to volunteer at events for scientific researchers with some renown published researchers. Once in Edinburgh whilst sitting for a really cool cat, mom was actually at an event herself. The other was in Amsterdam for a 3 day weekend. My sits were in Europe and I just hopped over on Easy Jet, nice budget european airline.
There are so many things one can do while home and pet sitting.
Anyone else take the opportunity to anything extraordinary?
Whenever I am in a location with minimal “needed at home” requirements I try to help at a local shelter with daily walks. I can generally give 3-4 pups a mile walk and they are SO delighted to be out and about and keeps me motivated. However…this has made me think twice. SO very sad.
Woman dead, another injured after dog "suddenly snapped" and attacked them at animal shelter - CBS News
Thanks for reopening this topic.
Most of my sits aren’t long enough for a volunteer activity, especially since many in the US require some kind of background check.
I am a Red Cross platelet donor - and when I am in a place at the right time for a donation, I look for the local Red Cross donation site and donate platelets.
You can donate platelets once a week, up to 24 times a year.
It takes 3 hours between the pre-donation screening, the blood draw and return, and the post donation snack. But you can watch Netflix.