In her own words, twenty-one year old Andrea describes her former self as a “hot-headed and manipulative bitch”. But all that changed in the last 2 years, after she embarked on a journey which would change not only herself, but the lives of many.
Two years ago, Andrea decided that she wanted to do something meaningful. “I Google-ed and looked through carefully which shelter I wanted to volunteer with.” Fortunately for us, Andrea chose to volunteer in SOSD, starting off in the shelter where she walked and bathed the dogs weekly. Through interacting with dogs, Andrea learnt much about life: “Each dog we handle is a new experience, a new learning point. They taught me important lessons about life and my heart slowly expanded and learnt to accept things as they are.”
But Andrea wanted to do more: helping dogs one at a time was meaningful, but she knew that if she wanted to make a bigger difference, she would have to spread the word about kindness and love for abandoned animals. That is when she decided to join SOSD’s Education and Outreach Team. “I’ve seen too many people buying an animal because they’re cute, only to abandon them when they grow old”. “I know it is time for me to stand up, and be the voice for homeless and abandoned animals.”
Since the beginning of this year, Andrea has worked tirelessly to share her experiences in schools and roadshows. “When I go up to the public to talk about strays, 60% would give me a disgusted look, and give comments like: ‘What’s so good about strays?’ or ‘Strays can never be tamed; they will bite you right?’ There is so much misunderstanding between these humans and stray dogs. If I can’t make them adopt a homeless dog, the least I can do is to clear off this thick misunderstanding. That’s what I have learned in my journey in SOSD Education & Outreach Team.”
Andrea is only twenty-one years old, but her passion, dedication, and spirit far exceed that of many who are older than her. We hope that in the years to come, she will continue to volunteer, and grow, with SOSD.
“Volunteering is all about creating a positive impact: to yourself and to the community. It’s all about giving back to the society that has benefited you.” ~ Andrea, SOSD Volunteer