For the third year in a row, Best Friends–Utah participated in the Utah Pride Festival, culminating with the Utah Pride Parade Sunday morning, June 7. In addition to celebrating diversity and love, the day offered another opportunity to turn more folks on to helping pets in need.
Best Friends staffers walked in the parade alongside a newly painted mobile adoption vehicle and handed out thousands of Strut Your Mutt fans to the crowd. Two must-haves for festival goers were the new and colorful Best Friends pride T-shirts and wristbands that were offered for sale at the Best Friends–Utah booth. The celebration was made even brighter thanks to the Best Friends street teams — special volunteers trained to engage the public and spread the word about Best Friends’ work.
One of the most dedicated Best Friends street team volunteers on the ground during the Utah Pride Festival is Sarah Taylor. She’s loved pets all her life and at the age of 13 organized an “I-need-a-dog campaign” to get her family onboard to adopt a canine. Through her creative methods of persuasion, which included leaving notes all over the house and starting a petition, her family lovingly dubbed her the “pet pusher.”
Her persistence paid off when her Dad finally agreed. So, off they went to Salt Lake County Animal Services to find their newest family member. With perseverance like that, it’s no wonder she was thrilled to join the Best Friends street team and help convince more people to become part of the solution of saving animals’ lives.
Sarah has been a Best Friends volunteer since 2012, when she volunteered to take part in a community event at the West Valley City Animal Shelter, where she learned firsthand the importance of education. “I was thrown right in to the mix handing out brochures and fielding questions,” says Sarah.
Sarah volunteers at the Best Friends Pet Adoption Center in Sugar House where she loves walking dogs, but she also relishes the street team events because they provide a unique opportunity to help animals and people. “The street team keeps me connected to community events like the farmer’s markets, festivals, and other fun events,” says Sarah. “Best Friends is tuned in to the happenings of Salt Lake City and my connection with them keeps me up to date as well.”
Her participation in the Utah Pride Festival has been among her most favorite volunteering experiences. “I loved walking in the parade,” says Sarah. “My best moment this year was when I was walking back to my car after the parade and three groups of people flagged me down when they saw my Best Friends shirt. They asked me questions about Best Friends and the kind of work they do. I also had a few people thank me. It made me proud to be associated with an organization that community members value so highly.”
Being a Best Friends street team member is serious fun! In addition to handing out a great amount of educational materials, the street team also helped raise nearly $3,000 during the festival. That will go a long way toward helping to Save Them All®.
Click here to join a Best Friends street team. Go to Salt Lake City opportunities, and look for Best Friends Utah Street Team to apply.