Most nonprofit organizations could not exist without volunteers, it’s a fact! They also cannot exist without donations. Many people cannot afford to make monetary donations to their favorite nonprofit, however, there are many ways to donate that do not involve money. Some people want to help but are unable to commit to scheduled volunteer time. There are more ways to help than monetary donations or scheduled time. I would like to give you some ideas that you can utilize to help your favorite nonprofit, hopefully a bird rescue/sanctuary.
I will use Parrot Outreach as an example but all rescues and sanctuaries need volunteers. The first thing to do is Google for rescue or sanctuary with your town, county or state added into the search. You should be rewarded with a list of local rescues in your area. If nothing comes up locally, then ask around town about parrot rescues. Many bird rescues are run from private homes and you may only find them by word of mouth, not everyone who rescues has a website to show up in a Google search. You can also ask your vet. Volunteer Match is a website set up to help people find organizations to volunteer with. The organization sets up their information, including email and when someone searches for animal rescue in their area, it will bring up the rescues information and give them the email address to contact contact the rescue. Yes, it really works! We have gotten a few new volunteers in the past 2 months from their site. You can check your local newspaper, our paper has a section just for volunteer opportunities. We also put up pull tab fliers, with our phone number, in local business’.
Now that you know how to find a rescue or sanctuary let me give you some ideas of ways you can help. We have several volunteers who come in to clean every day of the week. They say it keeps them active and one says she lost her tummy bulge due to the energy exerted. These ladies clean grates and trays and put new paper in the tray, they vacuum and mop the floor, feed and water the birds and basically get the them set for the day. Not everyone can do physical labor or have the desire to clean. We have one lady that loves Cockatoos. She comes in 4 days a week and spends 4-5 hours in the Cockatoo room. She makes toys for the Too’s, plays soft music and works on socializing them. She also brings them fresh veggies that she shares with all of the birds. She does not have a committed schedule but she is a valuable member of our team! We also have a birdie bread lady, she bakes muffins from organic fruits and vegetables for the birds and brings them in when we need more. One of our volunteers comes in every Fri. to make toys for the birds, she is a Cockatiel nut and tames some of our Cockatiels that have never been handled. We had a group of nine come in from a confiscation and she has tamed 3 of them and all three have found new homes. There are regulars who bring in newspaper they collect from their community and one who brings us Queen Palm nuts. We have another woman who is giving her time to help us start writing for grants, she has the financial background that I lack. There are two women who liason with Domestic Animal Services. When DAS receives birds they call the volunteers to pick up the bird and transfer it to us. Some volunteers come in and collect toy parts that they take home and make toys with then bring the completed toys back to us. We have volunteers who enjoy educating and socializing so they attend animal events and local events to spread awareness. We require a home visit prior to adopting from us and we have some volunteers who live in surrounding areas that we can call upon to do home visits. This helps out our Adoption Coordinator and helps adoptions to proceed in a timely manner. Someone has to organize the scheduling of volunteers, we have that covered with another volunteer. Our newsletter is sometimes compiled of articles written by other people. They may not consider themselves volunteers but they are valuable to our team. Rescues get donated cages sometimes and someone has to pick up those cages in many instances, which is just one more way to volunteer.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can volunteer! If you have been thinking about being a volunteer or want to help a rescue, act on it now.