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sharkrfish 08-25-2010 07:50 PM

Volunteering at society; few questions
Hello fellow animal lovers.

Today I finally started my volunteer work at the humane society near my school and it went very well! I have been assigned to volunteer three hours every day at the humane society for school credits along with my core classes; English and mathematics.

I am very autistic and I am generally very shy to even my friends, but I assume I did a good job today at the shelter since I talked more than average and worked as much as I could. I helped sanitize all the dog and cat cages the first day, along with feeding and watering – which took the whole time. I also learned quit a bit my first day and hope to continue doing well since working there seems to help my anxiety to the point where I think I might be able to get an actual job soon.

The person in charge of the shelter stated that he would leave the cat related work open to me since I usually arrive there when it opens and he knows I love doing that work, but I don't know if I should always ask for "what needs to be done" out of common courtesy to actual workers although there seems to be no other current volunteers. I do not generally care what I have to do as long as I am always busy or contributing in a way.

Which of the following would work best?

1) After arriving at the humane society, always ask what is needed to be done and doing them - asking for more tasks to do after being done.

2) Ask what all needs to be done today (writing the tasks down) and completing them every day from then on out.

3) Simply start working without asking since I know how to sanitize and feed/water the cats (this is not what I thought would be good since it is courtesy to workers and other reasons).

This might seem like an odd question, but being publically shy, I am quite pessimistic on how outcomes could go if I ask the wrong way or do things wrong and hopefully I can get over that sometime soon while working at the humane society. Also, I find that this is one of the best places to ask this question since many of you have volunteer experience.

AK49BWL 08-25-2010 08:29 PM

I'm a 2-year animal shelter volunteer here so you have quite come to the right place lol.. And thank you for giving your time to the shelter animals, I'm sure everyone and the animals all greatly appreciate it :-)

For the first couple times you go in, I'd say ask around, see what needs to be done, and as you've been there longer everything else will pretty much fall into place, and eventually you will be starting work without asking anything because you'll know how the place works. The actual paid shelter workers actually very much appreciate anything that makes the job easier on them, so by all means, go for it. Before long you'll be talking to anyone who walks in.. Trust me, I was near the same way when I started, few close friends, talked seldomly.. Yeah. Anyway, any further questions feel free to ask here, and welcome to the forum :-)

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