Congratulations to our September Volunteer of the Month, Anne Chinn! We are so lucky to have Anne around the farm each week, sharing her positive can do attitude and her kind, gentle smile. Anne wears many hats here at SAFE, from helping out on a facilities shift, a morning chore shift (stepping in as co-lead as needed), night check, as well as grooming some of our horses. Anne is also always ready to step up when she can, to help out other chore teams that may be short a volunteer. We are so happy to have Anne here in our community, caring for our herd day after day! Thank you Anne, for all of your dedication, time, hard work, love and care that you share with us! Learn more about Anne below.
How and when did you first get involved with horses? Do you have one now you want to tell us about?
I don’t really have any experience with horses prior to coming to SAFE, except that one lived on a property that I walked by every day on my way to elementary school and I would stop and visit and bring carrots to feed him. I’ve always loved animals and in my wildest dreams, wished I could spend part of my life in the wild like Jane Goodall. Then there’s reality, and I ended up as a software developer, squeezing in nature on the side of a busy career and family.
What do you like most about volunteering with SAFE?
I was looking for a volunteer opportunity where I would be outside in nature, around animals, get some exercise and there would be a social community. SAFE meets every one of these criteria.
It’s also the perfect place to realign my life with what’s truly important. My family has had several health scares over the past couple of years and although it sounds cliche, it does really make you re-evaluate what you are doing and what you want to do with your time. I want to be outdoors, around nature, and connected to people. The community at SAFE is so much more than I expected and I can see myself here for years to come.
Do you have a favorite SAFE horse? If so, why?
When I first came to SAFE I was a bit overwhelmed by all the different names, and who was who. But then the Graham horses arrived and I volunteered a bunch of extra days helping clean their paddocks, and it gave me a chance to get to know them better.
I’d say Henry was my first favorite. He was nervous, but very curious and bright-eyed, and I would stop by and visit him every day. The days when he would saunter over to the gate to greet me filled me with joy. Over time I began to really like the older ones: Kelly, Bijou, Sienna, Brandy, Bandit and Roy. They’re all so gentle and patient. And of course the minis, especially when they are trying to move quickly on their little feet.
What do you do when you are not horsing around with us?
Physical activity and nature is where I find the most happiness in my life. I hike/backpack. My 17 year old son and I just got back from a 5‑day backpacking trip to the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island and we’re planning a few more adventures this summer. I also love being on the water, and am part of an outrigger canoe team at Sail Sand Point. It’s beautiful to be out as the sun sets, or in the winter, when we paddle in the dark, and the moon is out. I also ski and snowshoe in the winter and ride around the city on my bike when the weather is nice.
Do you have family or special people in your life who support your volunteer work that you would want us to mention in your write up?
My husband of almost 40 years is my biggest source of support. We’ve weathered some pretty big ups and downs together and I am so appreciative of having him for a life partner.