Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Wanting to do more than write a cheque

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Working two jobs and going to school, Derek Resch doesn't have the time to commit to becoming a dog owner. Instead, the 32-year-old dog lover chose to become a volunteer with the Winnipeg Humane Society.

For the past two years, the Charleswood resident has devoted two hours each Sunday to walking dogs at the shelter. In addition, he also spends time helping to socialize new puppies, giving orientation tours to new volunteers and assisting at large events such as the Paws in Motion and Bow Wow Ball fundraisers.

"I love dogs, so now I get the fun of the dog without the responsibility -- because it is a big responsibility to get a dog," said Resch, who will enter his third year of environmental engineering technology studies at Red River College this fall.

For fellow volunteer Colin Glass, getting involved at the shelter was a way to do more.

"I'd been donating for five or 10 years and I felt like I wasn't giving enough in terms of money so I thought time was worth more," said Glass, a 45-year-old River Heights resident, who also started at the shelter two years ago. "Anybody can write a cheque but actually to give your time toward something takes a lot more commitment and it's more meaningful."

He spends his time at the shelter working in the gift shop, giving tours, and will soon add dog walker to his list of roles.

"You know you're helping other people out and you're helping out the animals but you're also helping yourself," said Glass, who works at the Manitoba Liquor and Gaming Commission.

"You feel better about yourself not just from volunteering here but volunteering in general. You feel better about yourself that you're contributing. If gives you some self-worth."

Resch agrees. Despite working full-time on an internship with the City of Winnipeg this summer and picking up four shifts each week at Canada Safeway, he said he loves volunteering for the Humane Society.

"I just find it's very rewarding," said Resch. "You get to participate in community events and raise awareness for the shelter. I think it's a good organization to be a part of."

He adds that with 750 volunteers, there is a role for everyone, no matter their interest or skills.

The Winnipeg Humane Society needs volunteers to work at the gift shop in addition to dog walkers, particularly those who can help weekdays from noon to 2 p.m. For more information, call 982-2021. More information can also be found online at www.winnipeghumanesociety.ca.

If you know a volunteer who strives to make his or her community a better place to live, please contact Erin Madden at erinmadden@shaw.ca .

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 23, 2012 B2

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