A snapshot of compassion: Barb Huning’s volunteer work with CAA

April 1, 2024

Get to know CAA Volunteer Barb Huning. Over the past five years, Barb has  contributed her time and skills to various roles to help CAA events run smoothly. She also selflessly offers her photography skills to help us capture key moments at events. Barb is a dedicated vegan who is attracted to CAA’s work and impact. Her volunteer motivation is to support this work to create a more compassionate world for all animals.

Barb loves photography and volunteers with CAA to capture the energy and happiness at events like Twin Cities Veg Fest and the Thanksliving potluck. She skillfully and passionately documents the joy and excitement of attendees. Through her lens, she showcases the vibrant and diverse vegan community, inspiring others to join us in our mission. 

Using her photography skills to immortalize CAA events

Reflecting on her experience at the Twin Cities Veg Fest, Barb shares, ”It was great fun meeting Veg Fest vendors, having the opportunity to showcase vegan products and services. Veg Fest visitors loved having their pictures taken enjoying the activities and offerings of the event and communeing together!”

CAA staff utilize photos taken by volunteers like Barb to promote upcoming events and initiatives and share the successes and fun of past events and campaigns. CAA’s volunteer photographers provide the visual aids that make our marketing efforts more impactful, spreading the word about helping animals and our community. 

Other ways she supports CAA’s work

Barb’s dedication to CAA’s mission is evident in the numerous other volunteer roles she has taken on. She helps with setting up and cleaning up, making sure everything runs smoothly at events like Twin Cities Veg Fest and summer potluck picnics. These efforts help attendees relax and enjoy the events. Barb’s volunteer commitments shows her strong dedication to CAA’s mission.

How and why she got involved with CAA

Barb’s journey with CAA started at the 2017 Twin Cities Veg Fest. She was impressed by how well it was organized. Not to mention being immediately drawn to the vibrant and welcoming community. She was “inspired and invigorated” by being able to gather with like-minded folk to celebrate, learn, and enjoy the delicious foods, products, and services.  

Since that first festival, she has also loved attending CAA’s many potlucks and dine-outs. She finds them great ways to enjoy good food with new friends and to help others on their compassionate journey.

Her motivation for volunteering with CAA

Barb has been impressed with CAA’s mission and approach. She feels that our work on education about plant-based eating and our community-building focus are key to helping people move towards a vegan diet. She believes that this is crucial because of its impact upon animals as well as for human health and protecting the planet. Barb shared that “It’s an honor to support this vital work” through her volunteer efforts.

Her world beyond CAA

Beyond her invaluable volunteer work for CAA, Barb finds joy in nature and in being a “vegan foodie.” She also has a passion for natural health. Despite no longer having “fur-babies” of her own, Barb finds fulfillment in caring for sanctuary animals. She has a particular love of chickens and has served as a vacation caregiver at Rooster Redemption and Chicken Butt Microsanctuary.

Given all that, it’s not surprising that she cites chickpea noodle soup as her favorite meal. She makes bread to go with it and pairs it with a healthy salad from her garden.

Join Barb in her support of our mission

Barb Huning’s journey with CAA showcases the power of compassion and activism. Through her dedicated volunteering, she has become an inspiring advocate for animals and a symbol of hope for a kinder future. Join Barb in her support of CAA’s mission to create positive change and build a world where all beings are treated with respect.

The mutual benefits of volunteering for CAA

Volunteers are key to everything we do. They help us to accomplish far more than we can do with our small staff and amplify our impact for animals. In 2023, our staff engaged over 260 volunteers, contributing more than 740 hours, across 96 different activities — a savings of over $12,000 if we had hired them. Learn more about volunteer impact every year in our annual reports.

Equally important is that the volunteers themself benefit from enhanced skills in advocacy and leadership as well as a sense of community. This fits with our theory of change which includes the following cyclical steps: increasing awareness, building community, empowering advocates, and creating change. Volunteering touches on each of these areas.

CAA’s Theory of Change

Our theory of change emphasizes a welcoming approach, which is recognized as most effective at creating change and models the empathy we want to promote.

The theory explains how we achieve our mission to encourage people to embrace their empathy for animals and move toward a plant-based diet. It also supports our vision of a world where all animals, human and nonhuman, can thrive. 

This change theory reflects how we grow our movement. Through our CAA programs, events, and activities, we facilitate a cyclical process of increasing awareness, building community, empowering advocates, and creating change. This process focuses on both individual and institutional change. 

What kind of change do we create? Our programs reduce consumption of animal products and improve the lives of farmed animals. In addition, they benefit the well-being of all Minnesotans.

Get Involved and Volunteer with CAA

If you believe in our mission and our theory of change, we encourage you to get involved too. Sign up for one of our upcoming volunteer opportunities. There are so many fun events and options to choose from. Whatever your talents may be, you can find a volunteer opportunity that’s right for you — from photography to cooking and serving food, helping with setup and cleanup at events, greeting guests, and so much more. We thank you for all the ways that you speak up for animals and help our community!

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