In the Community: Volunteering During a Pandemic

by Teigen C. '21

This year, due to COVID-19, not only was our school day impacted but our service projects as well as many of the places that students normally participate in community service were closed.

Consequently, my first service preference of working at a school was not available. I love animals, so when researching opportunities for my Community Service Class with Mrs. Kittridge, I searched for places to volunteer around Sammamish with hands-on animal interaction and came across a listing for the Sammamish Animal Sanctuary.   

This ended up being a wonderful opportunity. I learned a lot from this experience including the basics of working on a farm, to always live in the moment and not taking anything for granted! I was also able to build relationships during my service time -- with the farm owners, other volunteers and the manager Rachel. Making connections with the animals was great too. One of my favorites at the sanctuary is the alpaca.      


My favorite part about volunteering at the Sammamish Animal Sanctuary has been getting closer to my best friend Grace Riccardi, who volunteered with me for this experience. Volunteers clean all the barns and pastures and feed and play with the animals. Feeding the animals was always a ton of fun because the animals are so animated. The sanctuary is a second chance ranch, so animals with nowhere else to go are brought here for a second chance at life.

I had no idea how to take care of farm animals before this experience. Now I understand how much work living on a ranch could be. And how messy hay is! On my second day as a volunteer, a goat named Manny got out of his enclosure, and we had to catch him. Fortunately, it only took a couple of minutes to catch him. We caught him by cornering him and guiding him with his horns! Ever since that day, we always keep a close eye on him when we have visitors because he’s a little escape artist.

If you are looking for a rewarding community service opportunity, and don’t mind getting messy, working hard, having great laughs and creating new friends — I would 100% recommend the Sammamish Animal Sanctuary for service! To sign up, visit

Second Chance Ranch is located in Sammamish, Washington and is home to the Sammamish Animal Sanctuary. The sanctuary is a place for animals that need a home, where they are cared for and loved by many as they live out their lives.


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