Helping animals is part of Janet Kowalski’s DNA. “I will do anything to help cats,” she says.
In fact, her commitment to cats has earned her the title “cat whisperer” from her colleagues, and while she clocks an average of 500 volunteer hours a year, she’s always looking to do more. “I came to know Best Friends through my volunteer work,” says Janet. “I’ve been a donor for years and when I saw an article in Best Friends magazine about the peer-to-peer member recruitment campaign that offered a free trip to the Sanctuary, I knew I wanted to win. My dream was to go to the Sanctuary.”
She signed up and worked overtime toward her goal, with her sights set on a trip to Best Friends.
Janet called on people she had met through volunteering with cats in New Jersey and in her new home in South Carolina, and they were happy to support her cause. For all her years of giving selflessly to the animals, the folks that Janet had assisted in the past jumped at the chance to help her get to the Sanctuary and also help animals in need with a donation to Best Friends. “Once I started, it snowballed,” says Janet. She even had non-animal folks rallying to her cause — from her accountant to her church to her son’s country club clients in Florida.
“It was so exciting to hear my phone chime and know I was one more member closer to going to the Sanctuary,” says Janet. After two weeks of recruiting, Janet had enlisted 133 new Best Friends members. When the contest closed, she was Best Friends’ number one recruiter, which meant she had won a trip to the Sanctuary.
“I’m honored to have been the top recruiter,” says Janet. “Besides going to the Sanctuary, knowing that there’s this need to help all kinds of cats, especially community cats, and knowing what Best Friends does to support them, I’m ecstatic that I was able to help.”
While Janet may be busy packing, she’s incredibly thankful for all the support. “I was the spark,” she says, “but the new Best Friends members are the ones who created the flame.”
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Photos courtesy of Janet Kowalski