Meet Lauren Curtis, a longtime volunteer at Longmeadow Rescue Ranch! Lauren first found out about the ranch when she sponsored a Barn Buddy for her mom for Mother’s Day. She and her mom visited the ranch to meet Norton the pig, and Lauren was hooked right away. She got to chatting with Longmeadow staff, and they asked if she would consider volunteering, since she had decades of horse experience.
“That was over 12 years ago. Now I’m there almost every weekend. Best decision ever,” she says.
A “typical” shift for Lauren is anything but typical. She says she helps out with anything that needs to get done, which can include cleaning stalls and areas for all of the animals, grooming, animal training, showing visitors around, computer work, etc. She also trains new volunteers and helps with tours and events.
“You name it, and I have probably done it at least once.”
For her, the most rewarding part of volunteering at the ranch is seeing the transformation abused and neglected farm animals go through in Longmeadow’s care.
“When you see one find a new forever home and know you had a little part in helping them in their journey, it’s truly inspiring,” she says. “Working with all of the dedicated employees and other volunteers is also wonderful. Seeing their dedication helps to spur my own.”
When asked about her favorite experiences she’s had while volunteering, Lauren says she loves it all, but she holds a special place in her heart for doing tours and educating the public about Longmeadow’s mission.
“I especially like working with the children,” she says. “They are so inquisitive and have such good hearts. They ask some of the best questions.”
If you’re considering volunteering at Longmeadow or the Humane Society of Missouri, Lauren recommends giving it a try.
“I call the ranch my happy place for a reason. I get there and feel my stress just fade away.”