Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Kerstin Wiles

Kerstin recently celebrated her two month anniversary as part of the Farmhouse family. Like many of us Kerstin is very busy. She works in the tax field and has two children who are very active in sports. If you have sporty kids, you know how time consuming that can be. With all of that she still finds time to help at FANS once or twice a week spending at least four hours each visit and volunteers with her kids at the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch. Her children love hearing her stories from the farm so much so that they have asked to volunteer here as well. Read why she enjoys being part of FANS:

How Did you hear about Farmhouse and what made you decide to become a volunteer?

I read about Farmhouse in an article featuring the Lakewood Loves Animals club at Lakewood Ranch High School. The more I read about the work that was being done for the animals and the amount of work that goes into running it all, I knew I wanted to be a part of it!

What do you do as a volunteer?

I tell everybody that I “take care of animals”, but the official description is much longer! I am part of the Feed and Clean Crew.

What is the most rewarding or your favorite part of being a volunteer?

I truly look forward to coming to the Farmhouse. I never thought that things such as cleaning up after lots of goats, cleaning pools for pigs and cleaning bird cages while inside the cage with them would be fun, but it is! This is an opportunity to help that is unique. There is something calming about doing the work and talking to the animals and loving on them for several hours that makes a bad day/week go away. I think animals are natural anti-depressants!

Which animal is your favorite at FANS and why?

I have to say that it changes each time I am there or see a post on FB. There is always an animal that makes me laugh. There is also always one that shows me more affection. Their personalities are so different. I love them all!

What pointers would you share with someone who is thinking of becoming a volunteer?

Follow your heart and do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. You do not need to have grown up on a farm to do a great job at Farmhouse. All you have to have is a desire to help. Volunteer for something you are passionate about and it will come naturally.

If you could ask for one thing to help the animals at FANS what would it be?

Money is a constant need in order to care for animals. But live bodies are also needed to take care of the animals on a daily basis. The animals’ care does not stop due to weather or for any holidays. It would be great if more people wanted to volunteer here. There are many things that need to be done, so all skill sets are needed. And, remember, it may even be more fun if it is something you do not normally do daily!

Any additional comments/notes you would like to include?

I am just so happy that I read that article and that I became a part of the FANS family. I know that volunteers are thanked for the work that they do, but I really believe that I am the lucky one. If you love the job you do, you will never work a day in your life.