2021 Nancy and Robert Fierer Spirit of Volunteerism Award

Carolyn Cass with JayPWe are pleased to announce the recipient of the 2021 Nancy and Robert Fierer Spirit of Volunteerism Award. Congratulations to Carolyn Cass! Named after Susquehanna Service Dogs’ founding volunteers, the Spirit of Volunteerism Award is given to an SSD volunteer who has taken the mission to heart to help dogs change lives and support people to live their best lives.

Carolyn offers her time and gifts to SSD in many different ways. Whether she’s supervising large group dog play, transporting puppies, or offering support to fellow volunteers, she gives SSD her all. She has outstanding leadership and initiative and is an invaluable resource and mentor for other volunteers. She has a knack for helping new volunteers feel right at home.

Here’s what Carolyn has to say about her volunteer experience:

Carolyn Cass with JayP“I am honored and humbled, and to be honest, a little embarrassed to receive this award for simply doing something I love: volunteering for this incredible organization whose mission I wholly embrace. My involvement with SSD has been an amazing journey beginning with the day I was able to adopt JayP, a wonderful discharged dog, after she had been raised with love by Shanne Keeny and family. When I retired in December 2018 from a rewarding career in maternal and child health, addiction counseling, and traumatic brain injury, I knew that I would want and need to find something to do with my energy and my love of helping people. I also pretty quickly knew after adopting JayP I wanted to be able to “give back” to SSD because I felt like I hit the jackpot with her.  

Being part of a group of committed raisers, sitters, and other volunteers gives me so much joy every day. I’ve met many wonderful people, many of whom have become good friends, who also share this passion and love of mission. I am especially grateful to each and every SSD staff, or volunteer, or experienced puppy raiser who encouraged me to be brave and make the decision to raise my first puppy for SSD. SSD chose Whitaker to join me on this new adventure. What fun! I have learned so much from so many people, and perhaps most of all from Whitaker: follow your own path… you know it the best and be happy doing it.

Thank you for selecting me as this year’s Spirit of Volunteerism Award recipient. I am truly honored.”

Thank you, Carolyn, for your commitment to our mission to help dogs change lives!

Susquehanna Service Dogs is looking for puppy raisers to raise dogs to become life-changing assistance dogs. You’ll change people’s lives—including your own. Learn more about becoming a puppy raiser.