April 2021 Volunteer of the Month: Donna Tredway
Meet Donna! RASKC is extremely happy to honor Donna Tredway as Volunteer of the Month. Having started in 2011, Donna is one of the longest-serving volunteers on a continuous weekly shift. She has contributed over 730 shifts so far. Donna is also one of RASKC’s most reliable volunteers. For many years, Donna worked two shifts each week- as a Dog Walker and on the Cat Meet & Greet Team. Donna mentors new volunteers and often fills in to cover gaps in scheduling. She is terrific to work with. Thank you, Donna!
Q: How did you hear about RASKC?
A: After I retired, I wanted to find something fairly close to my home. I had volunteered with Seattle Children’s Hospital and Big Sisters of King County, but I wanted to find something with animals. So, I checked online.
Q: What have you gained so far from your experience as a RASKC volunteer?
A: So much! When I started, I couldn’t decide whether to work with dogs or cats, and Volunteer Program Manager Sarah Luthens -who had also just started her new job then- found an afternoon when I could walk dogs for two hours and then do a Meet & Greet right after for two hours. I loved the dogs. After six or seven years of it, however, I decided the big, strong dogs were becoming a bit too much for me and then switched to cats only!
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I was born and raised in Seattle. I grew up on Queen Anne Hill, overlooking what became the Seattle Center. From our deck we watched the Space Needle being built. We moved to Renton in 1970, because we couldn’t afford a house in Seattle! I became a single parent several years later and raised my family here. My son and daughter-in-law live nearby, as do my two grown grandsons, and my sisters also live locally.
I was what was called an Executive Secretary at the time, and a favorite job was the secretary to the president of KING-TV for 10 years. When I was 54 years old, I took a six-month course in medical transcription and then finished my career at Swedish Medical Center, also a wonderful job.
I believe the saying “No man is an island” is so true in today’s sometimes unpleasant world. I think the best thing we can do is to try to get along with and find good qualities in everyone, be the best citizen we can, and stop fighting!
Q: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering at RASKC?
A: Normally I see family and friends. I have done quite a bit of traveling in the States, Canada, and even Europe, but last year was strange. I actually own over 200 books, mostly purchased at library book sales. I dearly love to read, so I have been in “hog heaven” re-reading some of these books that I read for the first time between 10- 30 years ago, so they’re all new to me again!
Q: What is your favorite place to take your dog for a walk?
A: I have a 12-year-old Cocker Spaniel who has developed separation anxiety, so we are quite literally glued at the hip. There is an unofficial dog park just three blocks from my condo. We go there several times a week, because Sophie loves trotting along without her leash. Since she’s constantly checking where I am, I don’t have to worry about her running off!
Sophie is quite jealous of me talking “baby talk” to anyone else! My cats died two and three years ago. Hopefully there is another cat in my future.
Q: What would you like to say about volunteering for RASKC?
A: I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my many years there and have resented this last year of “forced leave!” I have glaucoma and macular degeneration and my vision is slowly deteriorating, so I hope I’m still driving when this awful pandemic slows down and I can get back again.
I love being around the cats, and the employees and other volunteers have been wonderful. I think my favorite time with the cats is finding a very shy one hiding in a corner or one of the cubbies, and slowly talking to her and getting to pet her until she comes out to say hello and show her true personality.
Q: Fun fact?
A: My mother was an artist who did paintings in air brush, which look similar to water colors. Someone related to the Roosevelt family in the 1940s bought one of her paintings and gave it to Eleanor. We have a framed letter from Eleanor Roosevelt on White House letterhead, telling my mother how much she loved the painting!