Animal Sanctuaries

Vegan Haven Volunteering

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.

Vegan Haven Front Windows

Photo from Jean at http://sunshineandslaughter.com. Check out her blog!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Vegan candy.
One of my favorite volunteers of all time and Vegan Score writer Juawana.

One of my favorite volunteers of all time and Vegan Score writer Juawana.

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.

5 thoughts on “Vegan Haven Volunteering

  1. Volunteering at Vegan Haven has given me more than I can ever repay in hours behind the register. I started there just a few months after moving to Seattle and have made some of the most meaningful connections, met the raddest, inspirational people and quickly settled into feeling like I was a part of a great community. A somewhat professional volunteer throughout my life, I can say with confidence that my time at the store as been the most beneficial and meaningful volunteer experience I’ve had. It speaks volumes that many of the volunteers there have stayed many years. This opportunity has opened my eyes and my heart as to who vegans are and being a part of that community has strengthened my values and made me a better advocate for animals and the earth. Seriously, y’all. Picking up a shift at Vegan Haven will take you to some Next Level Shit.

  2. I loved visiting Vegan Haven, I think I ended up in there three times during my trip and each time I chatted with the wonderful volunteers and they were all super cool. It’s such a rad idea for a store and I’d totally volunteer there if I lived in Seattle.

  3. I love volunteering at Vegan Haven! I started volunteering back in October and I am so glad I did. Before I started volunteering I would often feel lonely as a vegan and that I didn’t have much of an in-person vegan community. Since beginning to volunteer I’ve met so many wonderful vegans and people interested in veganism/vegan food — it gives me so much hope! I especially enjoy coming in to volunteer at the store when the rest of my life is hectic or overwhelming, I always find that it’s a great way to take my mind off of the other things going on in my life and to feel like I am doing something positive. Plus, as Anika said above, the vegan candy is a great perk!

    I hope you consider volunteering with us! It’s a wonderful experience and a great way to help the pigs at Pig’s Peace Sanctuary!

  4. Vegan Haven is wonderful and so are all the volunteers (who I thought were paid staff–major cool points for caring and helping). I can’t volunteer at the moment, but I shared this on FB and twitter.

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