Saturday, 14 October 2017 05:16

Swift Current SPCA needs new members and volunteers

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The Swift Current SPCA has operated largely on volunteer labour since the early 1970’s and has helped thousands of pets find their way home or find new homes during that time.

Although it faces an ongoing challenge on the financial front (needing to raise about 80% of its revenue from the community each year) an equally pressing need is for people with the time and skills to move the organization forward.
While the shelter operations and fundraising/event planning/ communications aspects of the organization are staffed positions, the SPCA needs new volunteers on its Board and people willing to assist with staffing its fundraisers.
“The SPCA Board is an operational rather than a policy Board”, explains current President Susan McLaughlin. “We do not have an Executive Director position so that means the Board is quite hands-on with issues like human resources, building and maintenance issues, and some programs such as our foster program,in addition to setting policy.” 
The SPCA Board ranges from about 9-15 members and it sees some turnover each year for a variety of reasons.
Both the President and Treasurer positions are expected to need to be filled in March 2018 due to a move out of the community and retirement respectively.
“The SPCA President position has functions such as chairing the monthly meetings, preparing the board package, chairing membership meetings, helping the board develop or revise policies, meeting with Shelter Operations Manager, City of Swift Current, Sask SPCA, and other provincial SPCAs/Humane Societies, helping set the annual budget and providing leadership during major initiatives,” McLaughlin notes.
The Swift Current SPCA is poised to take its next steps in ensuring financial stability and a secure future in our community.
 Two major initiatives requiring attention are construction of a Pet Crematorium as an added community service and revenue generator for the SPCA and renovation to the existing Shelter structure, which is experiencing significant decay due to its age and heavy usage. 
In order to help the board move these initiatives forward, the SPCA President should have some business background, and strong community connections.
The group is actively seeking new volunteer Board members with skills and experience in areas such as bookkeeping/finance, management, planning, human resources and infrastructure/maintenance as well as an interest in animal welfare.
Time commitment will vary with the position taken, but will involve at minimum a monthly Board meetings, some committee work and the ability to work at some of the SPCA’s events. Anyone interested should contact McLaughlin at 306-741-5678 for more information.
On the event/fundraising side, the opportunities for volunteers range from a very casual to more regular involvement.
The SPCA Bookstore runs with a volunteer staff and is always seeking new helpers for shifts of two hours/week. Training is provided and there is flexibility in scheduling so this can work for seniors, part-time workers, snowbirds and students. 
This is a good opportunity for someone who enjoys books, interaction with the public and handling cash. Bookstore hours are morning and afternoon, Monday through Saturday.
SPCA fundraising and awareness events happen every month of the year and provide a “drop-in” opportunity for people to help the organization.
Some of the casual opportunities available include: ticket and merchandise sales at events, concession and barbecue helpers, loading/unloading and setup for events, helping with kids’ activities and sparkle tattoo application (training provided).
Each month volunteers are provided with a listing of the available shifts for the month and can respond with what fits their schedules.
Events happen weekdays, evenings and weekends.
“New volunteers often think of helping at the shelter- walking dogs and that kind of thing,” notes Development Officer Teresa Cole.
“We do have people help us that way, but the larger need is actually in assisting us with those events that help raise money for our operations.”
She notes that volunteers are not expected to be aggressive salespeople and that many events require a number of people so it can be a fun social opportunity.
The organization is also open to talking with teams, service clubs and corporate groups who many want to volunteer as a group at larger SPCA events.
Finally, the SPCA has a member meeting coming up on Oct 16 at the Meadows Board Room at 7pm and welcomes all current and new members.
Anyone interested in taking a paid membership and attending these twice-yearly member meetings to learn more about the SPCA and how to get involved can do so by getting a membership form at the shelter or online

Read 396 times Last modified on Friday, 13 October 2017 10:17

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