YAPS Names Volunteer of the Year for 2016
During the month of April, Yucaipa Animal Placement Society celebrated “National Volunteer Appreciation Week” by hosting a luncheon for all current YAPS volunteers.
During the luncheon, Redlands resident, Darlene Edwards, was named “Volunteer of the Year” and presented with a certificate of appreciation donated by Cobb’s Printing.
Darlene's dedication to YAPS has helped countless dogs get the socialization they needed to be adoptable. Many dogs come into YAPS feeling scared and alone. Some may have been in abusive or neglected situations before coming to the YAPS facility. One of the most important tasks at YAPS is to socialize these animals so that they can be approached by adoptive families and so that they can learn to trust people again. Darlene has done many jobs at the shelter, but perhaps her largest contribution has been to aid these animals on their journeys home.
Darlene has been a volunteer for more than two years. She had recently retired from her job and wanted to volunteer somewhere where she could work with animals.
She had first heard about YAPS when she adopted a dog in 2005, but she was not aware of the volunteer program until she spoke to her neighbor, Monica Harris. Monica is also a volunteer at YAPS and she recommended the program to Darlene.
Darlene soon attended an orientation and has since been enjoying her time volunteering at the YAPS facility. Darlene does whatever is needed around the shelter, but she usually spends time socializing and exercising the dogs in the play yard.
"I enjoy seeing the dogs happy and playing in the yard," she says, "They are so excited to run around."
All of the dogs at YAPS have been special to Darlene, but she recalls one in particular that really touched her. Cinnabun was a scared little guy alone in quarantine. Darlene went and sat with
him in his kennel. At first, all he did was sit and shake, but after some time he started to warm up to Darlene. After several weeks he felt secure enough with her to climb into her lap and let her pet him. He even seemed to look forward to Darlene's visits. Finally, Darlene decided that since he had adopted her, she should return the favor and adopt him.
“Everyone at YAPS is truly thankful for our volunteers. Their help is vital to the animals at the YAPS facility and I am inspired by the work and giving hearts of all of our volunteers. Darlene has filled an important role here at YAPS and we are fortunate to have her here every week,” says YAPS executive director, Annette Florez.