Guest Blogger: Rebecca Torchia
When I was 13, the only present I wanted for my birthday was to volunteer at Animal Friends. By the time I was 17, I was only signing up to volunteer because I needed hours for National Honors Society. Once I finished training and started to collect my desperately needed hours, I began to remember why I’d wanted to volunteer so badly as a 13 year old. You get to sit in a room full of cats and call it community service. To me, it’s more like therapy.
Many people today live very stress-filled lives. There is a lot of pressure to do many different things, and be successful at all of them. We have different stressors in our lives. They may come from school, work or even our personal lives. The stress itself is not always the problem, but rather the way in which we handle it. While some people spend hours staring at a computer or television screen to forget their stress, it is not always the healthiest coping method. Some people go to the gym. Some people go to a therapist. I play with cats.
Animals are renowned for being therapeutic. For many years, dogs and cats have been taken to hospitals in order to help patients relax and recover. The good news is that you don’t need to be hospitalized in order to receive a little TLC from a furry friend. By volunteering at Animal Friends, you can find all the relaxation you need.
Now that I’m in college, I no longer need to do community service. No one is keeping track of how many hours I spend petting cats, however I still find myself making the trip down to Camp Horne Road whenever I have the time. Volunteering with the cats there – petting them, playing with them, even cleaning up after them – allows me to relax and helps me deal with whatever may be stressing me out. My 17 year old self may be shocked at my willingness to volunteer so often, but 13 year old me would be proud.