By: Miranda Ewing, Director of Volunteer Services

PHOTO: SPCA volunteer Pam Leitz

The SPCA Albrecht Center would like to recognize Pam Leitz as the Volunteer Spotlight of the Month for December 2021. This lovely lady has been volunteering with the SPCA Thrift Store since June 2021, as well assisting with special events such as the Flea Market and Sniffari. Wanting to support the SPCA’s efforts to care for homeless animals is what drove Pam to become part of the volunteer team, and she has surely done just that!

By diligently sorting donations, pricing the items, clearly placing merchandise for shoppers to browse, and helping the shoppers find exactly what they are looking for…all of these invaluable volunteer efforts go to helping the shelter animals as all the revenue goes towards the care of these homeless pets. Helping hands and happy hearts are what makes the SPCA Thrift Store a success, and Pam is prime example of both. She admires the dedication of fellow volunteers and staff and comments, “their enthusiasm is contagious!”

Even though Pam may not be a shelter volunteer, she does get some special time with the available cats who come to the SPCA Thrift Store. Inside the store there is an enclosure where adoptable cats sometimes stay in hopes of finding a family amongst the shoppers. Between naps, these cats have such curiosity as they watch the customers, staff, and volunteers around them.

They are given love and attention by staff and volunteers alike, and everyone hopes each cat/kitten will become part of a shopper’s forever family. Pam believes these kitties add a special feel to the business’s warm atmosphere, and I’m sure shoppers would agree. Currently, playful and sweet 11-week-old kittens named Lachlan and Silvius are hanging out at the SPCA Thrift Store. Will they find a home for Christmas?

As the holidays are upon us, family and friends are in the forefront of our minds. Pam has roots in many places as she’s lived all over the US and overseas as an “army brat.” Her family settled in Aiken in 1970, and 1972 she moved to the Washington DC area and began working for the federal government until 1990. She and her husband, Dennis, made several places their home as they lived in Maryland, rural Pennsylvania, then Montana, moving to Aiken 22 years ago to be closer to family.

Pam reflects, “Time has flown by and this is now our Home,” and she thinks Aiken is very welcoming. After trips were cancelled due to COVID, Pam yearns for all her family and friends in South Carolina, Virginia, Montana, Arizona, and California as she looks forward to making future travel plans to see them all.

Not only does Pam advocate for the homeless pets at the SPCA Albrecht Center, she also supports the people in her community. For many years Pam has aided in raising funds as a member of the AAUW which “endeavors to advance the equity of women and girls through education.” Continuing with this effort, she looks to her community here in Aiken and volunteers with the non-profit Aiken County Community Association (ACCA), whose mission is to “support, enhance, and lead educational and life skill development, with special attention paid to the needs of women and girls, in and around Aiken County.”

This organization’s primary fundraiser is the annual Books Sale which happens in March. Pam lends a diligent hand to prepping for this fundraising year-round, and especially during the 6 weeks leading up to the sale event. The SPCA gives a heartfelt thank you to all of Pam’s volunteer service to her community!

Pam, you are a shining light and a cheerful spirit for people and animals alike.

Miranda Ewing joined the team at the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare in February 2020. She has committed her life to volunteering and fostering homeless animals and believes the strength of a community shines when we can lean on each other. A 2012-2013 AmeriCorps alumni and Rescue Volunteer for Team Stinkykiss (a local CSRA animal rescue), she is an advocate for all animals and all people! Her family includes her husband, who knows all critters may find a temporary home with him (even if he’s allergic to some).

The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is a private, nonprofit, no kill animal shelter in Aiken, SC. The SPCA also operates a local Thrift Store (“Where Shopping Saves Lives”), a public, affordable Veterinary Care Center & a Dog Park. It is our mission to improve the lives of companion animals by rehoming abused, abandoned, and neglected pets while fighting for their well-being through vigorous legislative efforts, humane education, and by offering affordable veterinary care for all.