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Pieces of Eight


When she’s not arranging for service opportunities for students at East Carolina University, ECU’s community partner coordinator Shawn Moore shares her time, her home and even her bed with adopted pets from the Humane Society, where she volunteers. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)


Moore Gives Time, Effort and Space to Help Others

By Judy Currin

Adopted felines Winston, Otis, Angus and Jack live the good life. The furry foursome share their home with Shawn Moore, community partner coordinator for the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center, and her husband, Will. “Our king size bed is consistently crowded,” she said. “It’s clear we work for them and they allow us to live in their house.”

Moore works to find service opportunities for students on campus and provides professional development for community partners. A staff member for 10 years, she previously served as volunteer coordinator at the VSLC, assisting

students with selecting appropriate service sites and organizing and implementing special events and national days of service.

She is a member of the Pitt Resource Connection Advisory Board and   serves as vice president of the board for the Humane Society of Eastern Carolina.

“I volunteer with the HSEC because the organization offers animals a healthy, loving environment until they find a forever home,” she said. “And I think it is important to lead by example. Speaking to students and community partners about service has more weight when you are engaged yourself.”

Her feline brood is testament to Moore’s willingness to not only volunteer, but to actively offer “forever homes” to the animals.

“Winston found us,” she said. “He showed up on our doorstep in 1997.” Otis was adopted on Valentine’s Day in 2005 from the HSEC adopt-a-pet promotion at PetSmart. “We had just lost one of our other cats and were devastated,” Moore said.

“And to make matters worse, Winston walked around for days crying for his lost brother.” The HSEC volunteers put six-year-old orange Otis in her arms and she never let go. Angus was a stray seven-week-old kitten when he wandered up to their home in 2005.  He resembled the cat they had recently lost, Moore said. “Angus was destined to be with us. Otis is his favorite playmate,” she said.

Jack was adopted on Easter Sunday 2008. Surrendered by his owner, the two-year-old seemed confused about being in a cage. During a volunteer stint for the HSEC, Moore decided to allow him to sit on her lap. And while her husband was not receptive to adding another stray to their already bustling household, he eventually agreed and presented Jack to Shawn as an Easter gift.

“I love that they are all waiting at the door or in a window when I come home from work,” Moore said. “They just want some attention and to play.”

Games and playtime are effective tools in projects taken on by the Volunteer and Service-Leaning Center as well, Moore said, particularly those involving school-age children.

One of her favorites was a diversity carnival for local afterschool programs. “The children participated in games at the five ‘continental stations’ of Asia, Europe, South America, North America and Africa,” she said. Participants drew on large puzzle pieces, which were later assembled in the center of the room. “The concept was that although we may look different, we still fit together,” Moore said. She has a portion of that puzzle hanging on her office door.

One of her favorite more recent projects is the University Million Meals Event. “Last year, in one day, 750 volunteers packaged 201,108 meals for Stop Hunger Now’s Operation Sharehouse program,” Moore said. The high protein, dehydrated meals are used in crisis situations and provide a highly nutritious meal to support school feeding programs in schools and orphanages around the world. “It was incredible seeing so many diverse groups working together for a common cause,” she said. The event will be held again this year on Aug. 22. Registration is at

“Winston, Otis, Angus and Jack will not be in attendance. They will be waiting for me at home,” Moore said.

This page originally appeared in the July 31, 2009 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at