Volunteer of 23 years honoured at BC SPCA awards
Gail Higgins, a BC SPCA volunteer since 1989, was honored with a Volunteer of the Year Award from the non-profit animal welfare society at a special ceremony held in Vancouver June 1.
Gail has been a bona fide jack-of-all-trades when it comes to volunteering at the BC SPCA for nearly a quarter of a century. Her current efforts are focused with the West Vancouver Branch where she has been a Community Council member since 2009. She also acts as a key liaison with community groups and business sponsors to garner financial support and gifts-in-kind for the shelter and she is involved in every aspect of the branch’s fundraising activities – from organizing events to soliciting gifts for auctions to handing out flyers. In addition, Gail has been instrumental in coordinating the branch’s volunteer program and leading volunteer orientation sessions.
Gail is also very involved with Charlie’s Food Bank, the SPCA’s weekly outreach program to low-income pet guardians in the Downtown Eastside and she can be found volunteering there most Thursdays as well as collecting pet food and other items for distribution. One morning a week Gail helps out at the West Vancouver shelter with office work and kitchen chores. She greets visitors, washes dishes, does laundry and takes on whatever task needs doing, including soliciting local grocery stores for fruits and vegetables, which she was called upon to do recently when two very large pigs arrived unexpectedly at the West Van shelter needing a temporary home.
Prior to volunteering at the West Vancouver Branch, Gail spent many years with the Vancouver Branch, assisting with everything from cat socializing and coordinating the grooming program to training volunteers and fundraising.
“In her 23 years with the organization, she never ceases to find ways to help the animals who need her most,” says West Vancouver SPCA manager Dragana Hajdukovic. “You name it and Gail has done it.”
The BC SPCA Awards Program honours both people and animals who have made outstanding contributions to animal welfare during the past year. Recipients include veterinarians, staff, volunteers and animal heroes. The non-profit BC SPCA cares for nearly 32,000 abused, abandoned, injured and neglected animals each year in British Columbia.
The BC SPCA is a non-profit organization funded primarily by public
donations. Our mission is to prevent cruelty and to promote the welfare
of animals through a wide range of services, including cruelty
investigations, emergency rescue and treatment, sheltering and adoption
of homeless and abused animals, humane education, advocacy, farm animal
welfare, spay/neuter programs, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.