New experiences, new friends

Three Cheers for Cape and Islands Volunteers, November/December Cape Cod Life | capecodlife.com

From left, John Leiss, Donna Leiss, Liz Flynn, and Julie Rice were on hand for September’s Walk for Animals in Hyannis.

Liz Flynn, a resident of Yarmouth Port and a longtime employee at Cape Cod Life Publications, has put her passion for animals to good use as a volunteer at the Cape Cod MSPCA Animal Shelter in Centerville. Arriving on the Cape from New York City about a decade ago, Flynn wanted to find a good use for her spare time. She has found that—and more—with the MSPCA. Volunteering at the shelter, she drives animals to vet appointments, helps with fundraising efforts, cleans cages, and frequently fosters animals as they await their “forever family.”

“The staff is small, and they rely on volunteers,” Flynn says of the Route 28 facility, which is currently undergoing an expansion. “I’ve learned so much about how a shelter is run and the work that goes into finding each animal a good home. I get emotional when I hear one of the animals has been adopted. It’s really rewarding work.”

At home, Flynn and her husband, Roy, have an 8-year-old Chihuahua, Paco, who they fostered and then adopted after he was surrendered at the MSPCA. They also have four cats: Teddy, Tasha, Danny Boy, and Elvis.

A past winner of the MSPCA’s Volunteer of the Year award, Flynn says volunteering has also introduced her to a whole new group of friends who share her love of animals. “It’s opened up a new social life for my husband and me.”

As one might expect, many local organizations have come to rely on the work volunteers like Flynn and others put in—and most count on them to help carry out their mission. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization,” says Genser of WE CAN. “We’re blessed as an organization to have men and women of all ages and special talents give of their time. I can honestly say we could not do what we do without our 300 volunteers.”

Genser adds that she feels Cape Cod is a special place when it comes to individuals who are giving and willing to share of their time and talents. “The Cape is an amazing community with a volunteer spirit,” she says. “There’s a feeling that people want to get involved and want to make a difference.”

Nancy White is a freelance writer from Hull, and the proud owner of Duncan,

an 8-year-old Westie.