Meet Asako, Heartland’s October Volunteer of the Month! Asako started volunteering last year after her two boys attended Heartland’s Summer Camp. She volunteers on the Monday morning animal care shifts, taking care of Heartland’s many feathered friends. Asako is extremely dependable and knows how to get the job done! She’s also up for training new volunteers, which is a huge help to Heartland staff! Many thanks (and quacks and clucks) to you, Asako, for all you do for us! We are so lucky to have you!

1. What do you do in your time outside of Heartland? I am a work-from-home mom.  I own a company that helps teachers to open new Montessori schools and prepare for the classroom environment.  I have two boys ( 13 and 10 years old ) who are both into karate and keep me busy driving to practices and tournaments.  I like to play the piano, go out in kimono, take care of my bantam chickens, and hold my own little “therapy dog” named Cappuccino.

2. How did you find out about Heartland? What got you interested? My kids came to Heartland first as summer campers.  They gave me a barn tour and showed me their favorite animals, Baine, Flower, and Blossom.  I wasn’t an animal person back then, but Baine’s adorable big eyes and Flower and Blossom’s happily wagging tails made me take the first step to be a farm girl.

3. Can you describe a favorite/memorable moment or event at HFS? Heartland is a farm animal shelter, so it is inevitable to lose our favorite animals due to their health issues they already had before they came to Heartland, or aging after living in Heartland for years.  The staff at Heartland always do their best to make sure that animals who lost their friend live happily again.  Phil the rooster and Pandora the hen were such a sweet couple for a long time.  Phil had that crazy hair but a very gentle personality and was always my favorite rooster.  He passed away and Pandora was left alone.  It was great to see Pandora now being happy again, with her new friend Xena, who recently lost her best friend Pebbles. May I mention one more? I have my own chickens at home.  One of my chickens got sick all of a sudden and couldn’t walk.  I was a beginner chicken owner, and couldn’t figure out why she wasn’t feeling well after reading and researching all over the website.  I ended up asking the staff at Heartland for help.  I was encouraged by their great advice and kind support through that hard time.

4. What is your favorite part about volunteering for HFS? The staff and other experienced volunteers teach you how to take care of the animals that you have never touched before,  and you get better and better at it every week and several months later you find yourself teaching a new volunteer how to do it.  If you want to try different animals or different tasks such as building a shed or fixing a fence, you can learn from an experienced staff or volunteer.  People here are always willing to help.   I like to work in the chicken stall #5 while Eddie, the turkey, in the next stall #4, constantly talks to me through the screen with such an adorable purr!

5. What do you wish other people knew about Heartland? Heartland has great camps for kids.  And kids who are 10+ years old can volunteer with their parent.  It’s a great place to bring your guests.  My 10-year-old boy enjoyed working with me every Monday during the summer vacation.  I brought my friends and family from outside of the state to Heartland.  They all had a great time and enjoyed the tour and listening to each animal’s story.

6. If you could adopt only one HFS animal, who would you pick and why? My kids want Tank or Harvey.  Yes, they are cute but  too mischievous to me… I would take sweet Xena or Pandora!  They lay beautiful pale blue eggs.

2 Comments for October Volunteer of the Month: Asako Harkins

October Volunteer of the Month: Asako Harkins - Heartland Farm Sanctuary | October 2, 2017 at 2:53 pm

[…] Meet Asako, Heartland’s October Volunteer of the Month! Asako started volunteering last year after… […]

November Volunteer of the Month: Cindy Wrase - Heartland Farm Sanctuary | November 1, 2017 at 3:15 pm

[…] Meet the wonderful Cindy, our November Volunteer of the Month! Cindy started volunteering earlier th… […]

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