March 2022 Volunteers of the Month: Tiffany and Alison Yamasaki
Meet Tiffany and Alison! RASKC is profoundly pleased to honor this mother/daughter duo as our Volunteers of the Month. Tiffany and Alison Yamasaki have fostered almost 50 kittens total over the past dozen years, including each year of the pandemic. They are wonderful to work with! Foster Care Coordinator Lori Mason says, “I am so grateful to Alison and Tiffany. I love Alison’s enthusiasm and willingness to help. And she has a fabulous smile.” Thank you, Alison and Tiffany!
Q: What do you like about fostering animals from RASKC?
A: Fostering kittens for RASKC is our way of giving back to the community. It’s very sad to think that people would leave these kittens to fend for themselves when they no longer wanted them or did not care to find them homes.
We were more than happy to help RASKC care for these kittens. We enjoy giving the kittens the love and comfort they need to mature in a nurturing environment where they can become familiar with what it’s like to be part of a family. It’s always a rewarding experience to watch them grow from scared kittens, who hiss when you approach them, into playful and cuddly companions, who seek out cuddles and purr a lot!
Being a foster parent at RASKC has reminded us that everyone can give a little something to make an animal’s life better… just by opening up your home to an animal. It’s amazing and heartwarming to see how many people volunteer to help RASKC take care of these abandoned animals.
Q: Tell us about yourselves.
A: I was born and raised in Seattle. Tiffany was born and raised in the Bellevue/Newcastle area. I’ve been a single parent since Tiffany was about five years old. She has grown into an amazing person and is mature beyond her years. Tiffany graduated from the University of Washington last year. She is currently working at a law firm in Seattle.
I have been employed at King County for 30 years and currently work in the Department of Executive Services (DES) Fleet Services. I have been a member of the DES Equity and Social Justice (ESJ) team since 2020. Our ESJ team has continually worked towards providing Fleet staff with ESJ information and developing action plans to enhance ESJ awareness in the workplace. Our Fleet Director Jennifer Lindwall has worked diligently to help Fleet staff grow through leadership development training opportunities and by establishing ESJ job opportunities through an apprenticeship program. Marie Malcolm is our ESJ Team Lead, and she has done an amazing job of engaging Fleet staff in ESJ conversations and coordinating our Fleet town hall meetings.
When Tiffany and I are not working, we enjoy relaxing at home, going to the gym, cooking, watching movies, spending time with family/friends, working on projects around the house, and occasionally taking a trip to Las Vegas. We also love to visit friends in Hawaii and to enjoy the sunshine, beaches, hiking, horseback riding, beautiful scenery, and good food!
Q: Describe a memorable RASKC moment.
A: Every time we see Lori Mason is a memorable moment! She is always upbeat and happy! We can totally feel how much she loves her job and the animals she cares for! There couldn’t be a better person to fill the position of the Foster Program Coordinator at RASKC!
Q: How would you describe your pets’ personalities?
A: In 2020, Tiffany adopted our foster kitten and named him Chibi (means “small” in Japanese). After we got him home, we gave him a bath and clipped his little claw tips. Later, after Tiffany dried him off, she walked into the kitchen in tears. I thought something was seriously wrong and asked her what happened? She said nothing… she was crying because she was so happy to have Chibi! He was our COVID kitty. He really helped her through the isolation of COVID.
Chibi is quite a handful and loves to play. He literally bounces off the walls! His personality definitely reflects that he was originally fostered alone, because he is in constant need of attention. As he has grown, however, he has mellowed a bit.
Chibi is a bundle of energy and does anything he can to get attention. He likes to play fetch and regularly drags things from our bedrooms into the hallway. We are amazed that he is able to pull a queen size blanket off the bed and down the hallway! His favorite thing to do is crawl into bags, then as you walk by, he will swat at your feet. He will cuddle with us – but only on his terms. He has quite the personality!
Q: What would you like to say about volunteering for RASKC?
A: I always try to promote volunteer work at RASKC. because it is such a rewarding experience and it teaches children that they can make a difference by being responsible for taking care of an animal. It’s also a great way for children to participate in volunteer services without having to leave their home. We started fostering kittens when my daughter was about 11 years old and provided care for almost 50 kittens over the years. The most difficult part for her was knowing that we had to let another person adopt the kittens we had raised. I explained to her that we were improving the lives of each kitten by taking them in and giving them the love and care they needed, so these kittens could transition into a new loving home. The first few kittens were a rough transition, but once she saw how happy the new families were with the kittens, she was okay with letting them go.