Just as the proverb says, "it takes a village to raise a child," it takes a global network to keep the work of nonprofits running smoothly and meeting
their missions. The Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation is no exception. Without volunteers scouting shelters, fostering dogs, transporting rescues, the
Foundation could not function.
But aside from the volunteers "on the front lines" who interact with the Kerries on a routine basis, there are numerous "invisible" volunteers without whom the mission of rescuing Kerries from abuse or death could not continue. One of these volunteers is Georgia Will, the KBTF accountant.
Georgia is indeed a gift. She has been the accountant for the KBTF since 2007. Her job involves many more duties than most people would think. She doesn't simply enter donations and issue checks for expenses.
Her duties which take up to 8 hours a week of volunteer time, include thank-yous for donations, facilitation of product orders, and reports to the board.
Her day job is that of a professional accountant for the city of Long Beach, CA. Many non-profits struggle along with a well meaning, but untrained volunteer as treasurer, often with tragic financial results. Our foundation is truly fortunate to have a skilled professional volunteering for us.
So how did we get so lucky? Was Georgia a life-long Kerry Blue fancier, who decided she could use her work skills to benefit the breed we all find so endearing albeit challenging? No, Georgia like many of us got "stuck" with her initial Kerry. A co-worker passed away and it was initially assumed that that the Kerry, Murff, would be taken care of by relatives. However, the closest relatives, three aunts in their 80s were not interested in adopting a dog. Georgia went so far as to call the pound to make sure that Murff had not ended up there; she was assured that he had not. However, a week passed and no one knew the whereabouts of Murff. Further sleuthing led Georgia back to the pound where Murff had indeed been incarcerated.
Initially, another friend was to take the dog, but her household was at dog capacity. Then an incidence of "lost in translation" occurred, and somehow the executive director of the pound (mis)understood that Georgia would be taking the dog.
Next Georgia entered that deliberation stage of many who are faced with a homeless dog, but hadn't planned on being the person to provide the home. What would her husband say? What kind of dog was this anyway? But Georgia, knowing only that "some type of terrier who was black and weighed 30 pounds," was waiting for her at the pound, took the courageous step, paid $50 for Murff's "bail," and let the magic begin.
Murff, dirty and matted, went home with Georgia, greeted Kent (Georgia's husband) with a very friendly lick on the hand, and began the education of Georgia (and Kent) into to the miracles and mischief that are innate to Kerry Blues. Murff did such a good sales job, that Georgia got another rescue Kerry Blue, "Boo" (full name Woodwards Lady Blue.)
Through her trials and joys with her dogs, Georgia fell under the spell of the Kerries (who as a result of their Irish heritage are rumored to be part leprechaun). She decided that she wanted to do more to help the plight of Kerries, but was limited by the hours of her employment. She couldn't be out visiting shelters or fostering dogs. What she could do was use her accounting expertise to help the Foundation keep its books in order and running smoothly. And since 2007, that is exactly what she has been doing.
"Invisible volunteers" like Georgia Will are critical to making it possible to keep rescuing Kerry Blues. For the countless hours they contribute, they deserve to be made "visible" now and then so we can properly thank them for the work they do. Three cheers for Georgia! Thank you from the Foundation and thank you from all the Kerries whose lives you have touched over the years.
The Foundation depends on generosity of both visible and invisible volunteers. Are you ready to join this outstanding Kerry cadre? If a Kerry is or has been part of your life, you too most likely have the desire to do more to help this noble breed. However, you may have held back from volunteering because you are unsure of what you have to offer and/or whether you really have enough time.
Hesitate no more; Kerries have a niche for you!