Your name: Diane Stevens
Tell us a little about what you do with Furry Friends: I am the main graphic designer and photographer for the group, I also create any illustrations they need. Some of my other duties include public relations, marketing, contact with the media and writing articles for publication. I write for the Columbian’s Cat Tales blog every other week as a representative for Furry Friends. I have a weekly shift at the adoption center at PetSmart in Hazel Dell, WA caring for the Furry Friends kitties on display. I also help plan events for the group and whenever they need a performer I use my guitar and vocal skills for them.
How long have you volunteered with Furry Friends? I retired from my job November 2014 so that is when I finally had more time to devote to volunteer work.
How did you get involved with Furry Friends? Before I retired I knew that I wanted to be involved in animal welfare work when I had more time. Furry Friends looked interesting and I decided to attend their annual dinner auction to get a feel for who they were. I was quite impressed with their operation. They are a small nonprofit group that is run entirely by volunteers.
Why do you volunteer? My life has been blessed in many ways and I am now in a position to give back to society. I have a passion for animals and it is up to us humans to help them out. There are so many cats out there living terrible lives. And so many people that are in need of someone helping with their cats. Furry Friends is always receiving distress calls from people with a cat problem. Such as an elderly person having to go into assisted living and they can’t take the cat with them, or a person that has to move into a place that does not take cats or the mom cat that shows up at your back door with a litter of kittens etc.
Do you also volunteer for other organizations? If so, what are they and what do you do? Yes, I am a church musician for St John Lutheran Church in Vancouver, WA. I play guitar and sing every Sunday for the service. I also take photographs; do videos and other assorted tasks for them.
What is your favorite part about volunteering for Furry Friends? Being around the kitties and helping them out is a highlight. Also my fellow volunteers are great, giving, loving people, it is such a pleasure to be around them and work on a common cause. I am also having a blast using all my creative and business skills for something I am passionate about.
Do you have any pets at home? Yes, three cats. CC & Norman are 16 years old and Benny showed up at our door this year, he is 11 months old now.
Tell us about other hobbies or interests that you have? I have just stopped playing ice hockey due to a broken ankle a few months ago. I started playing when I was 50 years old. There were no women’s teams at my rink so I played on a men’s team. I eventually joined the Portland Phoenix which is a women’s team in Portland. I also perform in a music show with my husband Mickey Stevens who has been a professional musician his entire life. In our show, I play rhythm guitar and sing. I change clothes about 6 times during the show, assuming other characters. We perform a mix of classic rock, country and old standards. I also enjoy hiking, horses, kayaking, gardening, painting & drawing and crafts.
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. — Aesop