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Featured Volunteer: Gloria Quay
When Gloria Quay applied to be a volunteer at North Shore Animal League America in 2007, the first thing that stood out about her was her flexibility. Not only did she have open availability since retiring from a career as an HR Executive for the Federal Aviation Administration, but Gloria also had a skill set that would make her an invaluable asset to Animal League America and its Volunteer Program.
This veteran volunteer, who started her selfless journey shortly after recovering from a triumphant battle with cancer, has contributed in so many areas around our Port Washington campus and on various off-site events that she should be referred to as the Swiss Army Knife of the Volunteer Program.
“Flexible, versatile, helps with whatever is needed. There’s just not enough I can say about Gloria and the impact she has made on our program,” said Senior Volunteer Manager Lauraine Merlini. “Everything and anything we ask our volunteers to do, Gloria has done. From working the adoption floor, to training incoming volunteers, to assisting on off-site outreach events, and even giving campus tours, she can be counted on to do whatever is needed.”
Not only does Gloria assist Lauraine with anything she needs during her days on the schedule, but recently she’s entrenched herself in another area of the organization. The senior volunteer has become a vital part of our top-notch Foster Care Program. Gloria said she has so much respect for Foster Care Manager Alex Bab, and the second chances that he and his team provide the animals who desperately need the extra care, that she was thrilled to become part of it. To Gloria there’s nothing more gratifying than helping an animal in need, especially one that would otherwise be given up on, or even worse, euthanized because of dire medical circumstances.
“I have a tremendous love for animals, especially dogs. I honestly feel that I get as much from these dogs as they get from me and all of the other volunteers and staff here at North Shore,” Gloria said. “When it comes to working with the animals in the Foster Care Program it gives me an even greater sense of accomplishment to know that I can make a real difference in their lives. Every time I leave here, I do so with a smile on my face.”
Even before Gloria began volunteering in the Foster Care Program, she was a big supporter of its work, so much so that she decided to become a foster parent to a female Pit Bull named Frankie. She eventually developed such a strong bond with the injured pooch that she decided that she couldn’t let her go. After making the adoption official, Gloria began using her adorable 7-year-old Mutt-i-gree during presentations at schools and educational centers to help people get over any fears they may have had about large-breed dogs, specifically Pit Bulls. Gloria may have helped save Frankie and nurse her back to health while she was in the Foster Care Program, but now the tables have turned, and she couldn’t be more proud.
“I take a great deal of pride in knowing that we as volunteers are not only able to help improve the lives of the animals, but in turn the animals often have a tremendous impact on the people they encounter,” she said. “There’s a real power behind the healing qualities of puppies and dogs. Believe me, I am living proof of how they can help us through some of our toughest times in life.”