Volunteer of the Month

November 2017 ~ Caragh Reilly

Thank you, ALIVE Rescue, for all that you do! It is so rewarding to see animals blossom that were once so much in need, either physically or emotionally, and I’m grateful to be a part of that journey. And while all the dog kisses and cat snuggles make every visit to The Little Barn fun, I am also so lucky to have met the amazing group of people that make up the ALIVE Rescue family and inspire me daily with their endless compassion and commitment.






October 2017 ~ Leah Bence

Congratulations to Leah Bence on being chosen as the October Volunteer of the Month! We are so lucky to have Leah as part of the ALIVE Rescue team. She is always so positive in everything she does and always steps up when help is needed. Leah has been a rock star Barn Leader who handles her shifts with grace. She always goes above and beyond, and current Little Barn resident Root Beer has been so lucky to have Leah over the last month. Congrats!

A note from Leah: “I’d like to thank the incredible ALIVE Rescue team for always giving the most vulnerable animals a second chance. Seeing their progress from week to week as they learn to love and trust the volunteers makes it all worth it and I’m grateful to be a part of such a dedicated crew!





 September 2017 ~ Susan Fritz

Congratulations to Susan Fritz on being chosen as ALIVE Rescue’s September Volunteer of the Month. She’s taken the lead on the grant writing team and has stepped up to assist with many of our recent parvo cases! Thank you so much for your commitment, Susan!

About volunteering, Susan says: “Animal rescue is hard work and it takes a village. I love seeing animals heal physically and emotionally. Being able to help a sick dog recover or a scared animal come out of their shell has been more rewarding then I ever thought. I love what ALIVE Rescue does and am glad to be a part of the team!





 August 2017 ~ Megan Powers

Congratulations to Megan Powers, our August Volunteer of the Month! We are so grateful for the time she puts in! The foster team is lucky to have her, and the initiative she takes at the Little Barn is so appreciated! Megan always has a smile on her face and helps wherever she is needed!

A Note From Megan: “I am immensely grateful to have been chosen for this honor by a group of individuals that I so deeply admire. Thank you so very much. Truth be told, I was always afraid that I wouldn’t be able to handle animal rescue and advocacy prior to becoming a volunteer, but I knew I owed it to myself and the animals of Chicago to give it a try. My time with ALIVE Rescue has taught me how much stronger one can become when working toward a greater good, especially when surrounded by an incredible group of volunteers, foster families, and donors. I love that we get to experience the good, the bad, and the smelly together with an unspoken understanding that we’re the lucky ones for being given the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of the furry lives we care for and love so deeply during their time at The Little Barn and beyond.”




July 2017 ~ Karen Smilie

Congratulations on being chosen as ALIVE Rescue’s July Volunteer of the Month!  We have truly enjoyed the time you have spent helping the team and will miss you when you move tomorrow!  Thank you for taking pups on field trips, donating to our Art Dart, transporting a baby duck for me, showering all the animals at the barn with love, and spreading the word about ALIVE.  We are so grateful you were a part of the family, even for a short time.  

A note from Karen: “Thank you so much!   The pleasure was all mine. I truly loved the time I spent there and will miss everyone-dogs and people alike!  I hope I can find something similar in Michigan. Keep me in mind when you have auctions or events–I’m happy to donate.”






June 2017 ~ Mackenzie Gorham

Congratulations to Mackenzie Gorham on being chosen as June’s Volunteer of the Month at ALIVE! We are so appreciative of everything Mackenzie does! She is a total asset to ALIVE’s fundraising committee and has gone above and beyond to make Alive and Running so successful. We truly appreciate all her help, time and dedication. It’s volunteers like Mackenzie who make ALIVE what we are and we are so happy to have her as part of ALIVE!

A note from Mackenzie: “I could go on and on about how wonderful ALIVE is. I am so thankful to be a part of such an important and impactful rescue – playing with adorable pups and planning the best events in Chicago.” 





May  2017 ~ Hannah Nicolet

Congratulations to Hannah Nicolet on being chosen as ALIVE Rescue’s May Volunteer of the Month!  Where do we even begin? Hannah has truly shined as an ALIVE Rescue volunteer and has helped us grow tremendously. Her leadership at The Little Barn, her dedication on the social media team, and her passion to get the Alive and Running team to the next level have not gone unnoticed. We are so grateful for all the time and love Hannah puts into ALIVE as well as all those little dog costume shopping spree’s she goes on because she “had to.” Thank you, Hannah, for being a part of the team and our little family. It wouldn’t be the same without you!






April  2017 ~ Anne Planic

A note from Anne: “Volunteering at the Little Barn is an amazing experience.  I am honored that I get to be involved in so many different facets of Alive Rescue as it is truly a rewarding experience.  The passion and dedication you all have for rescue work has pushed me to want to do more.  Thank you for all you do for the dogs, cats, and rabbits of Chicago through Alive and your partnerships!!!”








March  2017 ~ Jacquelyn Potwin

Congratulations to Jacquelyn for being chosen as the March volunteer of the month. Jacquelyn has been a huge part of the fundraising team. She brings such great enthusiasm, ideas and positive vibes  to everything she does! Not to mention her organization and attention to detail are so noticed and appreciated! Thanks for everything you do, Jacquelyn.

A note from Jacquelyn: “I’m honored to be ALIVE Rescue’s volunteer of the month! It’s a great feeling to find and meet new friends that share your love for rescue animals. I’m so happy to be a part of the ALIVE family. I have huge respect for all you do every day to save our furry friends, take on the hard cases, the sick and shower them with love and a second chance. Thank you for letting me be a part of it. And thank you for saving our little man Tate”





February 2017 ~ Maria Cantu and Brian Rzepnicki

Congratulations to Maria Cantu and Brian Rzepnicki on being chosen as the February Volunteers of the month, Valentine’s Edition! From their help re-organizing the entire barn AND taking on the basement makeover to their dedication to helping the many animals at the Little Barn to Beau’s numerous appearances at Reach Out Day events as well as their amazing patience, care, and love for Miss Una, we can’t thank them both enough for everything they’ve done for ALIVE Rescue. All of us at ALIVE Rescue look forward to continuing to work with you in 2017 and beyond.

From Brian and Maria: “We are grateful to be a part of the ALIVE Rescue family. We have enjoyed helping out at the Barn, participating in events, and meeting a lot of great people. Without ALIVE Rescue we wouldn’t have had the privilege of adopting Miss Una – the queen of the world! Thank you to Kristen and team for letting us be a part of this great organization.”


January 2017 ~ Hannah Smith

Congratulations to Hannah Smith on being chosen as ALIVE Rescue’s January Volunteer of the Month! Hannah has been a true asset to ALIVE Rescue for a long time! She has streamlined ALIVE’s adoption events and has made them an enjoyable experience for the animals, volunteers, foster homes and businesses. Thank you, Hannah! We couldn’t do it with out you.

A note from Hanna: “Volunteering with ALIVE has been a privilege, as I get to work with so many passionate people and experience the amazing growth that occurs along an animal’s journey from rescue to adoption.  It is an honor to receive this recognition and I am grateful to be part of such an inspiring community. Thank you and I look forward to what ALIVE will achieve in 2017!”





December 2016 ~ Ted Williams

Congratulations to Ted Williams on unanimously being chosen as ALIVE Rescue’s December Volunteer of the Month! Ted has been a true asset to all the animals, volunteers, and Barn Leaders at The Little Barn. He always steps up to help when we are in emergency situations: taking puppies to the ER and cats to vet appointments; socializing with the animals; helping to clean suites; staying beyond barn shift hours; throwing his muscles around when we need a heavy lifter; running to grab much needed medication…..Ted does it all!  ALIVE Rescue is so lucky to have him!  Thank you for everything, Ted!

A note from Ted: “I really enjoy working at Alive — it’s become an important part of my routine over these, what, last two years. I came for the animals and stayed because of the people (and the animals). It also really helped me cope with the loss of my cat, Mila.