ST. LOUIS – There's an old adage: Find a job you're passionate about, and you'll never work a day in your life.
For St. Louis native Ragan Dueker, spending time at the Humane Society of Missouri is about as good as it gets.
"I really enjoy coming here to walk the dogs, interact with them, play with them," said Dueker.
A dedicated volunteer, Dueker is following her passion.
"I'm currently an economic development volunteer with the Peace Corps in Ukraine," said Dueker. "I wanted to challenge myself personally, but I also have an inherent interest in helping others."
She's currently serving a two-year commitment in Poltava in the eastern Ukraine.
"A lot of my duties are trying to create grass root economic efforts for people in Ukraine, and there's also a myriad of other projects I carry out," said Dueker.
One of those projects is to help the community's makeshift animal shelter.
"It's not really a shelter by our standards," said Dueker. “You know in a society where there are so many other issues problems, things like this can get overlooked."
She's on a mission to make difference, collecting durable toys for the discarded pets of Poltava.
"It's just where trying to improve the shelter little by little as we can," said Dueker.
It's not just a job – its work dedicated to helping others.
"It's never too late to find your passion," said Dueker. "Some people find it at a young age and some people maybe find it later in life."
Some find it thousands of miles away.
"Just kind of listen to your inner self, if that makes sense," said Dueker.
Because the shelter is outdoors – durable, long lasting toys work best.
Information on toy drive:
WHAT: Dog Toy Drive for dogs in animal shelter in Poltava, Ukraine
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 20 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
WHERE: Humane Society of Missouri locations:
• 1201 Macklind Avenue, St. Louis, Mo 63110
• 11660 Administration Drive, Maryland Heights, Mo 63146
• 17357 Edison Ave., Chesterfield, Mo 63005