Say hello to Kathy, our amazingly talented Volunteer of the Month! Kathy is a huge part of why our sanctuary grounds look so gorgeous and bountiful in the summer and fall — she’s our green-thumbed garden volunteer extraordinaire! We are so lucky to know Kathy and have her as part of the Heartland crew — while she’s a master gardener, she’s also one of the nicest people you’ll have the pleasure of meeting, and of course, has a major soft spot for animals! Kathy loves visiting with our rescued residents when she’s not planting, weeding or watering, and our animals love her too – they probably know she has a major hand in the delicious ultra-local produce they’re feasting on this time of year! Thank you for all you do to help Heartland’s animals, summer campers, program participants, and visitors — everyone benefits from all the love and work you put into our sanctuary gardens!

1. What do you do in your time outside of Heartland? I am a mom, lover of all life, gardener, cook and consumer of amazing food, avid knitter for myself and the community, spiritual seeker, dedicated yogini/meditator, volunteer for Czar’s Promise/Pet Pals/Madison Knitter’s Guild, and caregiver for three lovely cats. I repurposed my life in 2017 when I retired from the UW Carbone Cancer Center after a rewarding career in cancer epidemiology research.

2. How did you find out about Heartland? What got you interested? My son and I attended Thanksgiving for the Turkeys…what can I say, I was hooked. My neighbor also held fundraising events at her home where Heartland was a recipient of funds. It was at one of the fundraisers that I met Jamie (Heartland’s Communications Director). Her enthusiasm for Heartland and description of Heartland’s mission made me think about where I might help facilitate that mission.

3. Can you describe a favorite/memorable moment or event at HFS? Thanksgiving for the Turkeys was a hoot…the salads for the all our avian friends that looked better than some Thanksgiving dinners I’ve attended.

4. What is your favorite part about volunteering for HFS? Planning and working with Stephanie on the gardens. Knowing that what I do at Heartland makes a difference for the animals as well as campers and visitors to the sanctuary. There is nothing like coming out to the farm to check on the gardens,water and receive/provide a bit of animal therapy on the side…not to mention the view is beautiful.

5. What do you wish other people knew about Heartland? I wish more people were aware of what a treasure Heartland is in promoting the human animal connection. I’m always amazed at how many people have no idea that this incredible organization is right at their doorstep!

6. If you could adopt only one HFS animal, who would you pick and why? I’d take them all but because I have to choose one…Hanzie is my guy. Our eyes met and I fell in love.

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