"Cat Man Do" readers may have noticed that I haven’t posted lately. I apologize for that, and assure you that more posts are coming. The reason for the recent lull is that I’ve taken on a volunteer project (in addition to the million other things I have going on in my life). This particular project has nothing to do with cats, other animals, or veterinary medicine.
I’ve decided to volunteer for a local organization here in NYC that provides housing and support for homeless LGBT youth. It’s the Ali Forney Center (www.AliForneyCenter.org) . They’re a national organization. I live in New York City, so obviously I’m working with my local chapter. Their mission is to provide support and services for homeless LGBT youth (ages 16 to 24) so that they can escape the harsh life on the streets and live healthy, independent lives.
I’ve been to the introductory meetings, the training session, and have been given a tour of their day facility here in Manhattan. Yesterday, in fact, was my first actual day as a volunteer. I’m starting very very low on the totem pole. Over time, however, I expect my duties will increase, and ultimately, I’ll be able to provide some moral support for these kids in a more personal, one-on-one way.
My experience doing this is fairly limited. About 20 years ago, I joined the Big Brothers organization. At that time, I became a “Big Bro” to a kid who volunteered at the cat hospital where I was employed. That kid – computer whiz and social media marketing genius Brad Reason – works for me now at my cat hospital, and we’re close buddies to this day. So, I think I’m pretty decent at the “mentor” thing, even though my caseload is limited to, um… one. Still… I have a good feeling about this. I probably won’t be talking about this much in the future, since this is a cat blog and my volunteer stuff has nothing to do with cats. But I thought I’d share it with y’all, just so you know that it’s been the volunteer obligations that have led me away from the blog a little bit.