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Congratulations to Alexandra Jackson for being selected as August’s Volunteer Spotlight!

Alex is married to her husband Mike and have two furkids, Boomer (14) and Rose (2).  She has worked in the Financial Aid Office at UAlbany for six years, and previously worked in Financial Aid at another school as well as doing some teaching and banking too!  Alex has been a volunteer with Regional for “since Renee called me and we went and rescued Tobin from that man who starved him.  Pretty sure it was January 2016 so five plus years.”

We asked Alex to tell us something that most teammates might not know about her and she said “My parents are former military police AND dirty hippies!  They took my brother, myself, our dog, and our cat on a cross country road trip from Buffalo to Alaska and back that spanned all 10 weeks of the summer before I started 8th grade.  I got to see and experience SO much in that time and really credit it with shaping my sense of independence and appreciation for the world outside my bubble.” 

Before Alex came to Regional, she previously volunteered at another shelter and was looking for another group where the mission and the operations better aligned with her values.  She firmly believes that there is no room for ego in this “business” and that she found her people at Regional!  Alex says “The focus is and always has been on doing the very best thing for every dog who passes through the doors, even when the best thing is hard, or uncomfortable or requires a ton of work or an unconventional approach.” 

We asked Alex what her funniest or best memory of being a volunteer at Regional is.  She said “Funniest- being damn near humped to death by Pilot – no question.  BEST is a toss up between finally getting Journey in that dog trap and taking fosters from zero to HERO.  It’s not that I love that they’re skinny and dirty and sick when they come to me but I love being able to fix those things and promise them that things are never going to suck ever again, and get them ready to live out the rest of their days on awesome couches with fabulous families.”

“As hokie as it is, the best part of being a volunteer at Regional is the people.  Where else can you find a group of people with whom you can have an hour-long conversation about dog shit.  Or who will watch trail cams for hours in hopes of spotting a scared, cold, abandoned dog who needs help.  I’ve met and developed friendships with people I never would have known where it not for a love of dogs and a commitment to being part of the solution in some way.  Those people who continuously give of themselves to those who need them.”  

We asked Alex what they would tell someone thinking of volunteering at Regional, “That sometimes it’s hard.  But I find that I’d much rather be DOING something to help that wringing my hands and lamenting how sad things are sometimes from the sidelines and I think that most others would share that opinion.  I remember talking to Eileen (a volunteer who passed away in 2018) about how much I admired her being involved even in spite of her physical limitations and the pain she was in pretty consistently and that conversation sticks with me to this day.  She told me that she saw herself as having two choices: she could have either stayed home, where she hurt and felt sorry for herself OR done what she could do to help those who needed it and feel connected and like she was making a contribution and still hurt.  She chose the latter and I am FOREVER thankful for her wisdom and her friendship.  I firmly believe that everyone can do something and that if more people chose to do the things they CAN do instead of talking about the things they CAN’T that we and the dogs we ultimately want to help would be SOOO much better off.”

Thank you Alex for your dedication and commitment to Regional and for being nominated for this month’s Volunteer Spotlight!

Join Alexandra and the Regional family by applying to volunteer today! Have an empty space on your couch? Apply to become a foster parent!

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