Why I Volunteer: Melissa Colsman
Cat Care Society is lucky to have hundreds of incredibly dedicated volunteers, many of whom have been staples around the shelter for years or even decades. One long-time volunteer is about to approach her 10th year!
Melissa Colsman began volunteering with CCS in 2014, originally drawn to spend time here after she first visited when looking to adopt a new kitty. It was the atmosphere of all of the cats roaming, playing and lounging that drew her in. Since her first CCS introduction, Melissa had adopted three CCS cats, and her parents adopted two. “The love and care for all of the cats is apparent in everything from the shelter design to the adoption policies to the focus on housing cats who have more needs,” she said. “I love being able to go to the shelter and interact with cats so readily. You can feel the love at CCS!”
Melissa’s first volunteer gig was our nursing home program, in which she brought shelter cats to senior centers for snuggles (a program that ended when the pandemic hit). Later, she was trained to be an adoption assistant, which provided extra help to staff on busy weekends. There, she helped greet clients, orient them to the shelter, provide information about adoption and link them to staff to start the adoption process.
In 2022, Melissa retired after 34 years as an educator. At that time, she started working with another volunteer, Erin, to assist with our on-site store, Meow Mart. Together, the two keep it stocked, price new items and assist with inventory — while making plenty of time to snuggle all of the kitties. “I just have a great time with my Meow Mart partner, Erin,” she said. “We laugh, problem-solve, and have fun helping Mandy keep [it] running.”
Melissa also helps at various events like Santa Paws and the golf tournament, both of which are great fundraisers for the shelter. “With each job, I’ve been able to see that I’ve been able to help staff and clients have a good experience at the shelter,” Melissa said. “It’s gratifying to be able to help, even if it’s just keeping wand toys stocked so cat owners have ways to engage with their fur babies. It feels good to help an organization that you believe in. It’s one thing to provide funding, which is incredibly important! But it is also personally satisfying to be able to give my time, energy and love directly to the shelter.”
“We love having Melissa’s help around the shelter!” added CCS’s Volunteer & Events Manager Mandy Babb. “She is consistently reliable and has played such a crucial role in keeping things running for many years. I know that when Melissa is on hand at an event, or when she’s managing Meow Mart, that we can count on everything running smoothly. Her history here is invaluable, and her passion is evident in the work she does for the CCS cats, and we couldn’t thank her more!”
If you’re interested in volunteering, learn more and apply at www.catcaresociety.org/volunteer.