Monday, May 11, 2009

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 05/11/2009

It is such an interesting time.  When logic would say it isn’t the time to think about giving; it isn’t the time to think about injured or orphaned animals when so many people need help; it isn’t the time to think about working for no pay.  Yet what I am finding is our not-for-profit world goes against this logic. 

The word came out earlier this year that the large foundations were going to be concentrating their resources on human/social needs…..rightfully so.  It did, however, cause a hiccup of concern in the operations of many other nonprofit organizations with worthy causes that fall into other categories.  I can’t speak for other groups, but what we are experiencing is just heartwarming.  I won’t lie to you and tell you that there is no need for concern.  All groups that I talk to are way down in donations, the life blood of a nonprofit--it’s just the nature of the beast.  What I can tell you is that people are caring enough to pickup, help, and drop off a myriad of animals in need, and they don’t seem to exhibit any of the entitlement that we have seen in the past.  They all seem to be taking some responsibility for the animals that they are helping.  Small donations accompany the arrival of the animals.  Small amounts are dropped off to help with the food, medicine, and services that each animal will require.  And, small donations add up to a great deal of help.

What also seems to be happening is that people are willing to give up their time.  They are calling to volunteer both time and services.  Perhaps some of these are people who are temporarily out of work.  Or, it may be that when there are so many in need around us, the “helping button” is pushed internally, and the desire to give of themselves encourages a potential volunteer to make the call they have been meaning to make for some time.

It also seems that what is happening is that families and schools are teaching philanthropy more now than ever.  I recently did a release of a red tailed hawk with three families.  One of the young girls seemed to know a lot about red tails.  When I quizzed her about her knowledge, she told me that her class at school had sponsored, through our AWE program, Cassie and Eliot and that the year before they had sponsored Heddy. She said the highlight was that our Education Group had been to their school with a program designed to accompany the AWE sponsorship……she remembered so much that it made my heart soar.  I think the process is working.  Maybe that is the upside of down times….and it is what makes now an interesting time.

See our web page to learn more about the AWE program and how you can help.

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