Every week, The Cranberry Eagle will spotlight a local volunteer, providing a glimpse into what makes them tick. QUESTION:What led you to become a volunteer? ANSWER: The large number of abused and abandoned animals in our community makes me heartsick. I wanted to help make a difference in their lives by getting them into loving homes. QUESTION: In your opinion, what is the single greatest challenge your charity or organization faces? ANSWER: Much of society views pets as disposable property. But in truth, they are loving animals capable of feeling great pain. Our greatest challenge is getting people to understand that pets are a lifetime commitment, and not something you toss aside when the novelty wears off. QUESTION: What is the greatest benefit that you get being a member of your organization? ANSWER: Nothing brings more joy to my heart than when an abused or neglected animal is adopted into a loving, forever home. QUESTION: How do you balance your time as a volunteer with the demands of work and family life? ANSWER: I work as a pet-sitter, and my family life revolves around four rescue dogs. So I guess you could say that most aspects of my life blend together, and compliment each other. QUESTION: What is the biggest reason that someone should consider being a member of your organization? ANSWER: If you love animals, and want to make a difference in the lives of homeless animals in our community, then we have a volunteer opportunity for you. If you would like to nominate a volunteer from your nonprofit/charity organization, simply e-mail us at cranberrynewszoominternet.net. CHRISTINE KACHMAR ORGANIZATION: Helping Paws OCCUPATION: Pet-sitter HOMETOWN: Ellwood City RESIDENCE: Cranberry Township FAMILY: Husband, Nick; dogs, Tilly, Chloe, Jenny, Harley HELPING PAWS FACT FILE MEETING TIME: Varies MEETING LOCATION: Varies WEBSITE: www.helpingpawsinc.com MISSION STATEMENT: Helping Paws is a small group of volunteers committed to supporting local Butler County and surrounding area animal rescue efforts through fundraising, assisting in finding animals forever homes, the public education of responsible pet ownership and promoting spay and neuter programs. TO JOIN: Complete a volunteer application at www.helpingpawsinc.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org Helping Paws is a nonprofit organization made up entirely of volunteers, and based out of Cranberry Township. Our primary focus is helping abused, neglected and homeless animals find loving forever homes. One of the ways we do this is by partnering with local animal rescue groups, who are also made up entirely of volunteers. These volunteers foster the homeless dogs and cats in their homes until they are adopted by loving families. In many cases these poor animals have been severely neglected, and the resulting vet bills can be staggering. In an effort to financially help these very dedicated rescue groups whose volunteers are sharing their homes and their hearts with these poor neglected animals, Helping Paws sets up fundraising events throughout the area. At these events we have a wide assortment of dog and cat related crafts, both for people and their pets. These crafts are made and donated by our very talented volunteers. The craft items can be obtained by making a donation to Helping Paws. In addition, animals that need forever homes are present at almost every fundraising event. We have many fundraising events at the Cranberry Township Walmart during the summer months, and at the Clearview Mall in Butler during the winter months. We also participate in many community based festivals. We believe our pets are a precious gift that should be valued and loved — not simply tossed aside when they are no longer convenient. And the support we have received over the years from the Cranberry community proves that many of you feel the same way! Please continue to stop by and share your stories and pictures with us when you see us out at our events. Your generous support is what enables us to continue saving lives — we couldn’t do it without you!