Meet Marilyn and Jazz! Marilyn Wallace and her granddaughter Jazz Richard have contributed immensely to RASKC’s Early Morning Cat Crew and our Tukwila Petco Cat-Care Team. In only 1.5 years, Marilyn has worked about 400 shifts – truly astonishing- with Jazz often by her side. Jazz, who is homeschooled, will be going into 10th grade this fall. She will be taking an online class in veterinary medicine then. Marilyn serves on RASKC’s leadership team at Tukwila Petco. She often transports hundreds of pounds of Petco-donated goods to RASKC. Jazz often takes on the thankless task of washing the cat-related Petco laundry at home, then bringing it back to the store. RASKC volunteering is an entire family production including not only Marilyn and Jazz, but also Candi who is Jazz’s mother and Marilyn’s daughter. The threesome not only work shifts at Tukwila Petco and at RASKC/ Kent for Early Morning Cat Crew, they also work special adoption events and help staff pet-licensing booths at community festivals. Plus they’re a foster family too. Thank you, Marilyn, Jazz, and Candi!
Q: How did you hear about RASKC?
Marilyn: We started volunteering, because Jazz need community service for school. We had not thought that we’d get this involved or enjoy it this much.
Q: What made you want to volunteer, especially to work with animals?
Jazz: I also want to get a job as a veterinarian or as an animal care technician. Plus I like animals.
Marilyn: I saw a lot of episodes of Animal Cops, so I wanted to help find new homes for abused animals. I always had considered myself to be a dog person. I was surprised through RASKC that I’m a cat person too!
Q: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering at RASKC?
Jazz: I like doing art at home and goofing off.
Marilyn: I also crochet and make blankets for Mary’s Place, an organization that helps people who are homeless. I also make blankets for a couple of children’s trauma organizations. I also make baby blankets, which I gave to Animal Care Technicians Cherise and Arionna.
Q: What have you gained and hope to gain from your experience as a volunteer with RASKC?
Jazz: I like the knowledge that I am gaining, which will help me in my future career. I didn’t realize how dirty kennels can get and how thoroughly clean they can become. My cats at home don’t get that messy.
Marilyn: I am learning certain ways to bond with cats, especially paying attention to their body language to sense how they’re feeling. I’ve learned a lot from my teammates Jamie and David.
Q: Tell us about your cats’ personalities
Jazz: My cat Gemini is wild and huge. We adopted her from volunteer Barbra who had been fostering her. My cat helps me to be happy. I take care of her, and she takes care of me.
Marilyn: Treat your pets with the deep love in your heart. Do not return the animals you adopt. It takes time to work things out.
Q: Is there anything you’d like to say about the volunteer teams you work on?
Jazz and Marilyn: We have great teammates. We all work together so well!
Q: Marilyn, you have an amazing ability to work your paid employment at night, then be awake for most of the following day to do volunteer work and help Jazz. How do you do it?
I’ve been working the night shift since 1996, so I’m used to getting about three to five hours sleep most nights. On Saturdays, I usually catch up to 15- 18 hours of sleep. Then I start it all over again. It works so well for me to be home with Jazz during the day when her mom works. Then they have the evenings together when I’m at work.