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Life of a Volunteer - P1

Hello friends! I decided to write a short blog series about my own and others experiences as a volunteer.

When you want to give to others but you do not have the financial resources to do so the best thing one can give is time!

This first post is about how I started volunteering my time and knowledge to help marketing efforts for a dog shelter located in Serbia. This is Dejan.

One dedicated and selfless man, over 800 dogs and counting.

Dejan Gacic is what I like to call an Earth Angel, for twenty years Dejan has been rescuing abandoned dogs in Serbia. He runs the Vucjak Shelter.

Serbia’s animal rights are almost non-existent as the government does not enforce the animal rights laws they implement. Dogs and cats are brought to kill shelters where they are abused and killed with no remorse. This is why Dejan never turns down saving a dog or cat no matter how difficult or bleak the situation may seem.

I first heard about Dejan and the Vucjak Shelter when “the Dodo” released a video in 2018 telling Dejan’s story. (click the link to watch) I had never seen a more dedicated and selfless man work so hard to save so many animals. It is very rare to find people who are so loving and empathetic and so I knew I had to continue to follow his story through his Instagram and also help him as much as possible.

At first I became a monthly Patreon Donor. I wanted to do more but was unsure of how. When summer started and I finished my Fall classes I wanted to get a marketing internship but I was not having any luck finding one. I thought I would find a small company or business that interested me and reach out to see if I could work on social media marketing and digital marketing for their company for free for the experience.

After looking for a few weeks I was not passionate about any of the companies I was finding and so I decided to reach out to Dejan at the Vucjak Shelter and see if he could use any help with social media marketing.

This was one of the best decisions I have ever made!

Besides having loving parents that raised me to be empathetic and sympathetic one reason I am so passionate about helping others is largely thanks to the incredible woman Sarah Pituwala. She is another Earth angel who is dedicated to helping others and she opened my mind and my heart to loving and having compassion for all creatures and especially dogs!

Dejan responded to my message and told me to get in contact with a woman named Angela who is located in Canada, the woman in charge of basically everything this shelter does that isn’t physically rescuing the dogs in Serbia. Yet another Earth Angel introduced into my life. Angela manages the instagram “Dejan’s Sanctuary for Dogs”, messaging anyone and everyone who has questions or inquiries, sending out adoption partner letters and all this while being in charge of fundraising efforts for this incredible shelter.

I was shocked that it was just her doing all of this and all for free out of the goodness of her heart. We messaged over instagram and finally set up a time to chat and see how I could help and bring value to this incredible organization.

Since then I have created strategies with Angela on the types of posts we could make and ways to gain followers and donations.

Since I first started working with Angela and Dejan we have helped raise nearly $20,000 and have gained over 250 followers all organically with no paid advertising. We also just teamed up with two new adoption partners “Must Love Pups” located in Colorado ran by Sharon Brew and “Angels for Animals Organization” in the U.K ran by Katie Harrison.

Tune in for next weeks blog where I will be talking about the opportunity I have to join two incredible women, Sharon and Katie on the potential upcoming trip to Serbia to meet Dejan and help set up adoption procedures for the hundreds of amazing dogs at the Vucjak Shelter!

Thank you for reading and leave a comment to let me know what I can improve on or what you guys want to hear more about!

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