2019 March Volunteer of the Month: Jini Allen
Meet Jini! RASKC is extremely pleased to honor Jini Allen. She might be the only RASKC volunteer who has the “claim to fame” of being a former professional bowler. Jini is a remarkable person with amazing organizational and communication skills and a heart of gold. In the process of contributing hundreds of hours a year as Scheduler of RASKC’s Covington Cat-Care Team, Jini combines consummate diplomacy and upbeat persistence. These qualities also served Jini and RASKC well when she spearheaded RASKC’s gift-wrapping fundraiser for the Angel Fund in 2016 and 2017. She also provided invaluable support for the project last year. Thank you, Jini!
Q: How did you hear about RASKC?
A: Hmmm…I think I heard about RASKC through my enrollment in VolunteerMatch.org.
Q: What made you want to volunteer, especially to work with animals?
A: A couple of years ago, when the Lord blessed me with the ability to semi-retire, I wanted to use that extra time to “give back” to my community. I’ve always had a fascination with and affection for God’s animal creatures in all their many diverse forms, colors and types, so I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with others who love and care about them!
Q: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering at RASKC?
A: Well, I confess to being a sports “junkie.” I love watching most sports (especially football: Go Hawks!). I also like to travel near and far, whenever I have the time (and money). Boating, fishing and crabbing will always be high on my list of enjoyable activities, as I thoroughly enjoy time spent on the water. And even though I am, for the most part, retired from the “rat race” of my former accounting career, I still like being out in the work world – and keep the books for a couple of local businesses for a few hours every week.
Q: What have you gained and hope to gain from your experience as a volunteer with RASKC?
A: Oh my gosh! Where do I start?! The first thing that comes to mind is that I’ve gained so much knowledge about and insight into the care of animals, especially cats – both from volunteers and RASKC staff – and these learning experiences have led to an admiration for and appreciation of the many selfless individuals that help make RASKC the incredible service organization that it is!
Q: What is your life motto?
Well – my “serious” life motto is attributed to Mahatma Ghandi: “Be the change you wish to see in the world!”; My playful life motto has been attributed to many different women….”Well-behaved women rarely make history!” (grin)
Q: What’s the best thing about your cats?
A: The way they forgive us, and continue to love us unconditionally…
Q: How would you describe your pets’ personalities?
A: My senior kitty “General Le” (13 years old) is known as the local “therapy” cat and loves to roam the local neighborhood endearing himself to everyone. When we lived up in SeaTac, there was an assisted-living next door to us where six elderly women lived (their average age? 90 years old). The caregivers told me that General would go over there, and snuggle in each of their laps. They just adored him!!! My younger “tuxedo” kitty “Romeo” (almost 4 months old) was adopted from RASKC. Although he is gradually learning to “chill”, he continues to challenge our patience, like most children…but his sweet-nature wins him our forgiveness every time.
Q: What is the best advice you would give people who want pets?
A: If you’ve never owned a dog or cat, the thought of being responsible for a furry critter’s life can be a little intimidating…one family I knew had raised calves, goats and dogs, but were scared to death when a cat was given to them by a close friend…fortunately they reached out to me, and I was able to sit down with them, dispel their fears, answer their questions, and put their minds at ease…don’t be afraid to ask for advice…there are lots of people out there who have loved and cared for animals for a very long time…and are only too happy to share what they know.
Q: Describe a memorable moment you’ve had with an animal.
A: This memorable moment came as the result of a tragic loss…our cats have always been indoor/outdoor cats, and a couple of years ago, for the very first time, we lost one “to the streets.” He was a darling 1 ½ year old tuxedo kitten named ‘Buddy,” and he was hit by a speeding car right by our home…a neighbor saw it happen, and watched him crawl into another neighbor’s garden where he breathed his last sweet breath…they asked around and found out who Buddy belonged to, then came to our door to deliver the bad news…the very next morning, the neighbor in whose garden he had passed away, a lovely older women named Charlene who, up to that day, we had never even met, came to our door with a beautiful lily plant and a sympathy card…and told me how sorry she and her older son (who lived with her) were for our loss…my daughter and I were so very moved by her thoughtfulness…the memory of her incredible kindness will stay with us forever… ❤
Q: What else would you like to say about volunteering for RASKC?
A: When I first started scheduling for the Covington Adoption Program, some didn’t want us to take older cats or black cats out to the store as they considered them “hard to adopt” – but over the two years I’ve been scheduling, we’ve proven that theory to be completely false over and over again! The bottom line? Whether a cat (or dog) has medical issues, or special diet issues, is older (like me…lol…) or maybe isn’t the cutest thing that walked the earth, there is a kitty (or puppy) out there for every person who has a heart big enough to love one… ❤
Interested in volunteering? We’d love to have you! For more information, visit our page directly: www.kingcounty.gov/RASKCVolunteer