Nine years ago, Barbara-Grace Pike made a decision that changed her life. And the lives of countless others. Lifelong lover of animals and believer in the value of giving back through volunteering, “BG” visited Marin Humane’s website and the Pet Care Assistance (PCA) program caught her attention. This program provides free pet food and supplies to low-income seniors and others in need. Volunteers in this program also help with dog walking and litter box cleaning. “I knew I could fit making deliveries to seniors into my work schedule, “ said BG.
With a well-established chiropractic and massage practice, she was ready to put her energy into a non-business related outlet. She wanted to be in a “tribe” of animal-loving people and advocates. For nearly a decade now, BG has been delivering much-needed supplies and a generous dose of love to clients in the PCA program.
After retirement, BG had more time to devote to Marin Humane. She’s developed friendships with many PCA clients, listening to their stories of pets, families, and life experiences over a cup of tea. They appreciate an open ear and interest in their lives, as it makes them feel less forgotten as they age. BG’s also helped the families of clients with the care of, and communication around, their aging pet and/or family member. When asked about an unforgettable moment in her volunteer career, BG doesn’t hesitate to tell the story of a five year relationship with a PCA client and her family. When the client was diagnosed with cancer, she asked BG to adopt her cherished dog after her death. Big Bear is now a daily reminder of the friendship and love they shared.
BG also shared that she was surprised by the pervasiveness of poverty in our wealthy Marin community. As she says, there are “hidden corners of Section 8 housing and senior care homes for the poor” that very much need our help.
Barbara-Grace says that what keeps her committed and inspired is the excellence of Marin Humane and its ever-expanding mission, the many clients she’s worked with, and all the friendships she’s developed. We’re so grateful for the hundreds of hours she has volunteered and for her unique blend of skill and love which she shares with each person and their beloved pet.
Learn more about volunteering at marinhumane.org/volunteer