Community Gem: Heather Saxe’s volunteer efforts helps hundreds of pets

Heather Saxe
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Heather Saxe

KETTERING — Heather Saxe knows that people love their pets. As president of Friends of SICSA, Saxe also sees firsthand how much people love animal-themed items and treats.

Friends of SICSA is a booster group that raises funds for the Society for the Improvement of Conditions for Stray Animals, 8172 Washington Church Road. As president of the group, Saxe oversees and organizes about 30 volunteers who sew, knit, paint, bake, craft and create handmade items for animals and animal-lovers that are then sold at festivals, bazaars and other events throughout the year.

“I am the orchestra leader of lots of talented people,” said Saxe, who counts herself among the volunteers who help by manning the glue gun, cutting fabric and pricing items to sell.

Some of those talented people helped the group far exceed their fundraising goal last year by sewing 1,600 animal-themed and special-order facemasks, collecting $14,000 of the $45,000 the group raised in 2020.

“You have to be flexible and try different things,” said Saxe, 52, of Kettering, who is a financial business manager for a worldwide consulting firm.

Saxe has been a SICSA volunteer for more than two decades and has fostered close to 500 cats for the organization, including a mom and her six kittens this fall.

SICSA cares not only about its animals, but also its people, and volunteering with the organization is rewarding because the results are so tangible, she said. The group adopts both cats and dogs, and also offers education programs, wellness clinics and other services.

Anna Fernandez is also a member of Friends of SICSA and nominated Saxe as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem.

“She’s just so generous and so selfless,” said Fernandez, of Kettering. “She gives so much of her time and her heart to SICSA and the animals.”