Kasarda poses above with a rescued pig which now leads a happy life at a farm sanctuary.
Bob Kasarda, a reporter for The Times of Northwest Indiana, has made giving back to the community in one shape or form part of his everday life. Through his work as a Times reporter, a dog behaviorist and social media/publication person at Lakeshore PAWS, and an activist for all, Kasarda has dedicated his career and life to helping those in need.
Kasarda was born and raised in Gary and lived there until he was in junior high when his family moved to Portage. Although his life and career has taken him all over Northwest Indiana, Kasarda still holds the City of Gary close to his heart.
“I am very proud to be from Gary,” he said. “I wish the best for the city.”
After graduating from Portage High School, Kasarda went on to Indiana University Bloomington, where he received his bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology. He immediately put his degree to good use.
“I went to work right after my college graduation at The Times newspaper, back in the day when the paper was based in downtown Hammond,” Kasarda said. “I worked in nearly every office of the paper over the years, including Hammond, Lansing, Illinois, Munster, Portage, and Valparaiso.”
As a reporter for The Times, Kasarda covers courts in Porter County and federal courts, regional issues, and social justice issues. He also reports on all types of stories, which means his work days are always different.
“The best part of my job is that the experiences are always new and unpredictable every day,” Kasarda said.
Along with his passion for writing and informing the general public on important issues in the community, Kasarda works tirelessly to raise awareness for veganism and animal activism through his volunteer work with local organizations.
“I feel whenever any of us put others first we are doing something important. I am a vegan and I encourage others to consider loving all animals enough to give up meat, dairy, eggs and all other animal products for food, clothing, personal care and entertainment,” Kasarda said. “I also work with Lakeshore PAWS dog rescue based in Valparaiso.”
“Very little in life do I find more fulfilling and joyful than meeting these orphan dogs when they arrive at the adoption center, getting to know them and involving them in play groups, and then introducing them to visitors who make them part of their family.”
Kasarda’s committment to helping animals in need of love or a good home simply stems from his desire to make others happy. He believes that volunteering should never be about the self, but rather bring joy, happiness, and sense of belonging to others who need it.
“I have always tried to give back through my newspaper work and by volunteering. Helping other beings, whether humans or animals, brings far greater joy than in trying to make ourselves happy,” Kasarda said. “We never get enough when we are focused on ourselves. It is only when we try to make others happy that we feel fulfilled.”
His volunteerism began right out of college with the AIDS Task Force of Porter and LaPorte County and VNA Hospice of Northwest Indiana, and has not slowed down since. The number of beings in need have kept him attached to different organizations throughout the years, but the influential people he reads about and sees in the world today inspire him to continue his philanthropic work.
“All the wonderful people worldwide who do selfless work inspire and influence me. These are folks in the world of charitable work, social action, and the truly rare spiritual leader. While some are well known, I am also inspired by the everyday person who is doing wonderful things and not the least bit interested in drawing attention to themselves.”
The same can be said for Kasarda, who wants to inspire people to do work for others.
“I am not doing this to receive attention or kudos, but rather out of hope of inspiring others to think more about others than themselves, which increasingly goes against the grain of the culture in which we live.”
For more information about Lakeshore PAWS, please visit http://www.lakeshorepaws.org/.