Marianne Bero and Ginger
My dad had to spend some time in assisted living during his final illness...I remember thinking if the opportunity ever presented itself, I would like to give back and visit others in that situation and make a small difference in day to day routines.
Fast forward a few years...a beautiful puppy named Ginger entered our life, and had so much joy to share....I thought she might make a great therapy dog if she ever settled down from puppyhood. When Ginger turned 3 I saw the opportunity to volunteer for Pet A Pet at HHS....so we gave it a try. Ginger was great and we decided to go for Pet Partners certification so we could also volunteer for READ...and it was a proud moment when we passed!
Pets: We have a 3 year old rescue pug, Ruby, who is devoted to Ginger and a 13 year old cat, Alli.
Volunteer since: October, 2013
Volunteer jobs: Pet Therapy Team
Fun Fact: Ginger was named by the little boy who had Ginger's mother. After we had her several months someone asked me....did you name her because of Gilligan's Island....Ginger & Marianne? That was the first time I made the connection....but it has come up and we have laughed about it many times since. To take it one step further...my husband's name is Fred....Fred & Ginger...some things are just meant to be!
I decided to volunteer at HHS because I love animals and didn't have anyone at home at the time. Three weeks later my Bailey cat came home with me.
Pets: Pets at home - Now I live with two cats, my boy Jackson and my girl Skylar (also HHS alums).
Volunteer since: January 2002
Volunteer jobs: Dog walker, cat socializer, videographer and general event volunteer.
Fun Fact: Jackson actually adopted me. As I entered the cat room he started talking to me and then put his paw out waving me over. As I walked up to his cage he put his paw on my face and reeled me right in. And Samantha has taken care of all my adoptions!
I wanted to get involved because I love animals and it breaks my heart to think of them in cages trying to figure out what happened to their little lives and waiting for their forever homes. It has been very satisfying to learn that everyone gets adopted, maybe not as quickly as we would like to see, but they do go home. And they are truly cared for at HHS by the great staff and volunteers.
Town: Burr Ridge
Pets: I am the Mom to an 11 year old Siberian named Duster. She is smart and comical and loving and I couldn't ask for a better cat. If I could, I would have a dozen cats and dogs...so instead I socialize with them at the HHS.
Volunteer since: August 2015
Volunteer jobs: Cat Socializer
Fun Fact: I used to be in a comedy improv group in the 80's with a guy who you may know from his role on 'Parks and Rec'.
Kym found HHS 10 years ago and has become involved in every aspect of the organization since then. Starting out walking dogs, she then became our Humane Educator where she also created our Jr. Board, and continually and voluntarily stepped into any other role that needed help along the way, including Volunteer Coordination, which she eventually took over. Kym's passion for animal welfare is extraordinary and her multi-faceted talents have benefitted the shelter on multiple levels. We are so thrilled she found us!
Town: LaGrange Park
Pets: 4 dogs: Sugar, Dino, Chopper and recently Dover, previously a foster dog, now an official part of the Iffert pack.
Volunteer since: 2006
Volunteer jobs: Kym is currently our Volunteer Coordinator, but does so much more on any given day, it's hard to fit it all in. She contributes graphic design, interior design, dog obedience and event planning, as well as stepping in on reception and any other shelter or society-related tasks as needed. In her "spare time" she also volunteers to walk dogs for the shelter, represents HHS at multiple events and donates her artistic talents and dog training services to our fundraisers for the past decade. Congratulations on 10 years of volunteering at HHS Kym!
Fun Fact: In addition to her graphic and interior design background, Kym is also an artist who creates home exterior renderings, and fantastic pet illustrations that are an art form unto themselves. (Some of her work will be available on t-shirts at our upcoming Santa's WOOFshop event!)
The last fur baby I had came from pet adoption and she was the pet love of my life! I miss her everyday and that adoption changed the way I perceived animal shelters. We are currently pet-free and my girls are dying for a doggie, so volunteering with HHS gives us the opportunity to fill that void. I love what HHS stands for, that it is a no-kill shelter and and all the effort they put into saving animals in the community. It’s such a great way to give back, especially for animal lovers who don’t have the ability to take on a pet at the moment.
Pets: None at the moment, but my family is anxiously waiting!
Volunteer since: 2016
Volunteer jobs: At HHS I am the Social Chair for the annual gala and try to support my friend and rock star volunteer Mistie Lucht whenever she needs me. I am also a Brownie Leader and PTA Social Committee Co-Chair.
Fun Fact: In my spare time, I run a website called So Chic Life for sophisticated women.