A program of the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children®

What's New

Teacher Angela Diekhaus’s Work Rescuing Cats and Kittens Honored with Gleason Volunteer Grant

April 5, 2019

“At one point growing up, we had our childhood dog, a cat, a hedgehog, a hamster, a guinea pig, a couple of birds and a tank filled with fish,” says Associate Teacher Angela Diekhaus. “I rescued and brought home every one of them, except our dog and one of the birds.” In fact, she loved rescuing animals so much that, at age 12, her mother made her sign a contract to not take in any more animals.

Today, Angela has channeled that passion for helping animals into her work as the Assistant Director of the cat-focused Pittie Party Rescue, serving central and northern New Jersey. Pittie Party Rescue recently received a Gleason Volunteer Grant of $500 from the Bright Horizons Foundation for Children® in honor of Angela.

“I love caring for animals and seeing the joy on people’s faces when they find their new furry family members,” says Angela. “Volunteering is important to me because it gives me a fulfilling sense of pride and happiness when I am able to serve my community.”

Angela’s center community at the Bright Horizons® Child Development Center for Bristol-Myers Squib has supported her work as well.

“For The Great Kindness Challenge week this year, my center ran a food/supply drive for my rescue. Parents in my classroom and all across the center were donating gift cards, food, and supplies to help the animals of Pittie Party Rescue,” says Angela. “Witnessing the kindness of others and their support for what I do reinvigorates my commitment to my mission of helping homeless animals.”

Recently, Angela rescued a two-month old, paralyzed kitten named Finnegan from a very abusive situation. “When we got him, he was very sick and dirty, and we did not think he had a great prognosis,” says Angela. “The management team at my center has been so supportive of my fostering Finnegan and has even arranged our lunch breaks so that I am able to tend to him. Since he has been with me, Finnegan has regained some function of his legs and, with a lot of care and physical therapy, is beginning to walk again.”

The Gleason Volunteer Grant came at a great time as Angela and Pittie Party Rescue were concerned about how they were going to fund the many vet visits and physical therapy appointments needed for little Finnegan. “This grant money will make a huge impact on Pittie Party Rescue,” says Angela. “It will be able to help little Finnegan and other cats and kittens get the care they need while they wait for forever homes!”

The Bright Horizons Foundation for Children’s Gleason Volunteer Grant program provides grants to qualified agencies receiving Bright Horizons employee volunteer service. If you are interested in applying for a grant, visit https://bit.ly/2CK9U2S.