By Bonnie Martinolich, Board Member
In case you were wondering, the NEFHS annual Conference has plenty to offer rescue volunteers. Would you like to learn about optimizing your use of social media to support your organization? How about development opportunities or making the most of your foster program? Are you interested in the latest thinking on animal behavior and handling techniques? Do you just like to learn about the current thinking in New England on animal welfare from some of the best in this field? If so, the Conference is for you.
Then there are the networking opportunities with fellow animal welfare volunteers, staff and senior management, as well as with sponsors and vendors that support the work we all do. Everyone is generally friendly, eager to share successes and failures and to get the most of the time spent at the Conference.
Maybe you’re running down the list of excuses as to why you are unable to attend all or any portion of the Conference — let me see if I can be of help.
I won’t know anyone there. I went to my first Conference solo thinking the same thing and, well, it didn’t matter. You’re spending time with other people passionate about animal welfare and who want to talk about it all day long. It was fun and non-threatening. There are also planned networking events to help break the ice and facilitate dialogue among strangers. Guess what, it’s a lot of fun.
I would have to take time off from work. The Conference runs from Saturday through Monday, and you have the option of attending one, two or all three days.
My day job doesn’t cover the expenses. We at NEFHS are happy to report that we have a robust scholarship program. The expenses that we can cover vary from year to year. More details about the scholarship program will be available in late Fall/early Winter, but I anticipate this will a generous scholarship year.
I already take a lot of time away from my family and friends (including the 4-legged ones) in connection with my volunteer rescue work. That can be a tougher one to address, but we often see people come with their families to enjoy the hotel amenities as well as the local sites. The hotel is pet friendly and so you won’t have to leave them behind either.
The Conference this year will be at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick, Rhode Island from March 30th through April 1st, 2019. Visit our website at www.newenglandfed.org for more information and sign up for our newsletter to keep informed of upcoming events.
If you attend the Conference, please say hello – I would like to personally welcome any and all rescue volunteers seeing how that is where I started my animal welfare volunteer life.