National Volunteer Appreciation Week (Debbie Silcox – NVADG)

IMG_3220The week we want to celebrate National Volunteer Appreciation Week, by profiling a few awesome OWCN volunteers.  Today, we have Debbie Silcox, who is part of the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG).  For those of you not familiar with NVADG, you can check out their website by clicking here, to learn more about the group’s mission of helping animals during emergencies and disasters.  Below is Debbie’s perspective on volunteering:

I started volunteering with animals in 2011 at the amazing Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care shortly after Little Smokey was rescued, rehabilitated and released back into the wild (Mission – Our mission at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care is simple: We give mother nature a helping hand by raising and rehabilitating orphaned and injured wildlife so they may be released back to the wild).  I went thru the weekend training and have volunteer there every Spring  – Fall, at both the facility and as part of the transport team.  Unfortunately I can’t get up there near as much as I would like but whenever I’m IMG_3221there I fully relax.  There is nothing like working with animals that need you.  All the troubles in your life seem to go away for that short time.  A friend of mine had heard about my volunteering and recommended that I join the North Valley Animal Disaster Group (NVADG).  NVADG was started in 2002 and its mission is – Working with emergency services to educate the public about disaster preparedness, and assist in sheltering and evacuation of animals during a disaster.  I’ve been a volunteer with NVADG since 2015 mostly as part of the Evacuation team.  I’ve had the privilege to work with some amazing people in the Valley Fire, Saddle Fire and the Oroville Dam/Spillway response.  In addition to the yearly training I’ve had the opportunity to attend various trainings which include working in the shelters, radio, dispatch and evacuation.  The year I joined NVADG, they also became a member of OWCN.  This too was something I was interested in and immediately signed up and have been a volunteer since 2015.  I had the opportunity to volunteer for 3 days at the Refugio response in San Pedro and the recent full deployment drill in Quincy.  These were invaluable opportunities for me to both learn so much in a variety of areas and meet some amazing people.  IMG_3223I continue to increase my knowledge and have attended as many trainings as possible.  Towards the end of last year NVADG needed a new volunteer coordinator between NVADG and OWCN so I have taken that role on.  Needless to say I keep myself busy with the various volunteer agencies along with work and my love of travel.  But my volunteer activities are a passion and I can’t wait until I retire and have even more time to learn and assist even more!

Thank you Debbie – your hard work does not go unnoticed!  Stay tuned as we post additional volunteer profiles this week, and thank you all for being such amazing volunteers!

– Becky

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