Some of you know that I’ve had a weekly shift at Vegan Haven (aka Sidecar) for Pig’s Peace for more than 5 years. That may seem like a long time to volunteer somewhere, much less do it every week, but let me tell you, there is a very good reason. Actually many good reasons.
- Since the profit that is made at the store goes to the pig’s up at Pig’s Peace Sanctuary, I consider every one of the 180+ beings up there very good reasons. I don’t have the skills to technically care for pigs and the sanctuary is far away – it would be difficult and not very efficient for me to volunteer my time up there on a regular basis. But all animals deserve sanctuary. I can help these ones, in this way.
- I meet the most incredible people. Between the other volunteers who are on shift before and after and the hundreds of people who pass through the door daily, there is no way one can’t make new friends. If I had to list the super amazing animal-loving people who I met and became friends with through Vegan Haven, it would fill this whole blog post.
- I learned something my first month there, and this lesson continues to be taught to me every shift: vegans are not who you expect. Even vegans have vegan stereotypes, including me. Before volunteering at Vegan Haven I thought most vegans were either woo-woo hippy-types or hardcore kids. Turns out, there are many like that, but they are in the minority. The vegan community is as diverse as the Puget Sound community, maybe even more so. It is hard to describe the full range of shapes, sizes, ages, colors, creeds, orientations, fashions, interests of customers – except to say that I’m always in wonder.
- Vegan candy.
During the busier times of the past five years, I’ve thought perhaps I should go down to every-other-week, or maybe even take a break, but when I think about my life without my Vegan Haven shift, it doesn’t seem complete. I’d miss too much. I’d miss the community, the friends, the customers, and all the new crazy cool vegan inventions. Why am I telling you all this?
We need more volunteers! There are many shifts open and we need more in the Summer than in other seasons (to cover vacations and such). We need people who can stock during the day, ring up groceries in the evenings, or who can do a little of both on the weekends. Training is easy and the work is practically meditative. Also, the manager is an incredible person who everyone loves working for and with.
So, if you haven’t found your way to help animals yet, please consider signing up for a weekly shift at Vegan Haven. I promise you won’t regret it. Application here. Bring it in during the week to speak with the manager, or email her at manager [at] veganhaven. org to schedule a time.