Volunteer Shout-Out: Lillie Gardner

Lillie with her cat, Ava.

Meet Lillie Gardner, our social media volunteer for the Twin Cities Veg Fest and Bridges of Respect

Read about her start with CAA, all the ways she has helped out, and what keeps her going.

How did you get involved with CAA?

I got involved with CAA after moving back to Minnesota (my home state) following many years on the East Coast. I was a new vegan and I wanted to get connected with the vegan community in the Twin Cities, so I signed up to volunteer at Twin Cities Veg Fest. From there, I learned about CAA’s Bridges of Respect humane education program and began helping out with classroom visits and social media.

What does your volunteer work entail?

While my volunteer roles with Twin Cities Veg Fest have been varied—everything from zero waste to transportation!—I’m currently the social media coordinator for Twin Cities Veg Fest and for Bridges of Respect. This year, social media has been especially important because it’s one of the only ways we have of connecting with people. Twin Cities Veg Fest would have been happening this month and it’s hard not to gather, but CAA has been working on other initiatives like “Veg Up the Market” with Camden Farmers Market and online cooking classes with Tamuno Imbu. Part of my job is making sure these events are promoted to the Twin Cities Veg Fest community and beyond.

What do you love most about volunteering?

It’s wonderful to connect with other veg-friendly people, and I love being part of an organization that is working to make a better world for animals everywhere. Plus, volunteering with CAA means you always have connections to amazing food!

When you’re not working on CAA activities, what do you like to do?

I’m a piano instructor and writer in St. Paul. I write for animal rights as a fellow with Sentient Media, and as a creative writer I write everything from fiction to screenplays. When I’m not teaching music or writing stories, I’m usually reading a book or taking my diva cat, Ava Gardner, for a walk.

What advice would you give to new vegans?

Stay true to yourself and your values. Our society is designed to encourage you to not be vegan, and sometimes it can feel difficult to stick with what you’re doing—especially if the people around you aren’t understanding or aren’t vegan themselves. Talking with other vegans and connecting with animals can be validating when you need some extra support. (Luckily, we have a few great farm sanctuaries around like Spring Farm Sanctuary, SoulSpace, and Farmaste!) Above all, with yourself as much as with others, be patient and be kind.

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Monday, August 1, 2022 - Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Twin Cities Vegan Chef Challenge 2022

Friday, August 12, 2022 - Thursday, September 15, 2022

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Thursday, September 1, 2022

Twin Cities Veg Fest Postering