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A group of volunteers founded the Winnipeg Humane Society in 1894 and are vital to our success today! With the help of volunteers, we can provide care, love and attention to our four (and sometimes two) legged friends until they find their forever homes. The MVP (Monthly Volunteer Profile) will recognize the work and get to know these special MVP’s in a spotlight each month that includes an article and photo shoot. MVPs will receive a framed photo and gift card as our thanks!

Is there a volunteer you’d like to nominate to be MVP? E-mail us ([email protected]) and tell us why you think they should be an MVP!

MVP is a volunteer-driven project with articles by Brian Kozak and pictures by Jim Harvey.

Check out our previous MVP’s.

MVP: Colin Glass

Spend just a few minutes with Colin Glass and it’ll come as no surprise that he volunteers in the Winnipeg Humane Society Gift Shop.

He’s bubbly, very friendly and always seems to have something interesting to say. He’s a born salesperson, through and through.

“I’m good with retail work,” he said.  “I’ve done a variety of retail jobs a lot of my life, so it’s like second nature to me. It’s something I think I’m good at. I work at Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries and I think I understand the nature of retail.”

Colin began volunteering at the WHS more than seven years ago. “Volunteering at the Humane Society was something I thought I’d try,” he explained. “I felt that my time was more valuable than simply giving a donation.”

He’s mainly worked in the Gift Shop and has also given tours at volunteer orientation sessions in addition to helping out with events such as Behind Closed Doors. “I’ve tried a few other jobs but they weren’t for me,” he said “but I got a better understanding of them so that when I did the tours I could give the future volunteers a bit of a hands-on perspective on what different positions are all about.”

On his volunteer tours, Colin refers to the Gift Shop as a ‘happy place.’ “The adoptions are paid for at the Gift Shop so you get to see the people leaving happy and the children and animals are excited,” he pointed out.

“It’s a mix of dealing with people and dealing with the animals as well, so you get a little bit of everything,” he said. “Plus the Gift Shop is a way of raising funds for the Humane Society. People can come in, buy something (rather than simply giving a donation) and the proceeds stay here. They get something in return when shopping in our Gift Shop. I always try to emphasize to people that money raised by items sold in our shop stay here.”

Colin’s doing his utmost, one person at a time, to promote the WHS Gift Shop to visitors. “A lot of people don’t know about the shop, or they see ‘gift shop’ and they think it’ll be expensive,” he said.

He enjoys helping people find what they need and thinks very highly of the staff and the volunteers with whom he works. “I’ve worked with many good people. Having been here as long as I have, I feel like I’m one of the ‘lifers,’” he laughed “There are so many people who have come and gone through the store, and they are all great people. They’re doing it for the right reason – to help the animals.

“I have to get kudos to the staff. They do it because they enjoy the job here. And the volunteers deserve credit too. I know I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t enjoy this and most volunteers feel the same way. “

Colin had special praise for Adoptions Manager Becky Halwachs. “Because of my background I feel I can help the store improve and she is very open to that. Rather than me just coming in Saturdays and filling the shelves or helping people, I can make other suggestions about subjects like stock placement on the floor, for example.”

Colin believes in helping customers as best he can, and when it comes to dealing with staff or other volunteers “I like to joke around a lot and keep things light.” He laughed.

“When I do the orientation tours I usually tell the potential volunteers that before I leave I usually get thanked by the staff running the orientation session. I’m not sure they’re thanking me for doing a good job or because I’m leaving.

“People ask me how I can volunteer at the Humane Society and not come home with an animal,” he said “I tell them it’s hard initially, but you know these animals are going to go to good homes. It may take days or even months but they are all going to go to a good home.”

Other staff and volunteers appreciate Colin’s knowledge, experience and sense of humour.  “Colin made me feel welcome during my first volunteer information session presentation,” said Johanne Pitura, Administrator, Volunteer Services.  “His humor helped ease my anxiety in presenting my first session.”

“Hearing him talk about Gift Shop when he does orientation sessions is really refreshing,” added Rebecca Calvert of the gift shop. “It is obvious how much he cares about the Winnipeg Humane Society.”