What does sanctuary mean to you? I’ve been asking myself this over the last few days. In an abstract sense it means many things to different people and yet I suspect for most of us, regardless of species, it means some form of the same things: hope, love, home, comfort and peace.
For the chimpanzees it might mean the peace to lay their head down at night and (we hope) no longer have, or at least have less often, the fear of what’s going to happen to them, or be taken from them, at any given moment. The hope to look forward to what each day brings in the knowledge that they get to make choices on how to spend their time.
If you’re anything like me you might often feel overwhelmed and heartbroken by the mind-boggling suffering in the world and the enormity of beings who need our help. It can often feel overwhelming just trying to figure out how to help. Before working here, I sometimes felt that what I could offer wasn’t enough to make a difference in the face of such devastating suffering and need. But as both a caregiver and the office manager, I am in the wonderful position of seeing almost every kind thought, word, deed, and donation received for the chimpanzees and I can honestly tell you it makes a difference. It ALL makes a direct difference in the lives of each of these chimpanzees. Every day we are all able to see the direct results of all the generosity and compassion each of you give. And it creates a ripple effect.
Your kind words brighten the humans’ days and that reflects from us to the chimps. Your volunteer efforts help make each day special for them and ensures their long term well-being. Your support of one dollar can buy something healthy and scrumptious that makes Burrito food squeak with abandon, or a used troll doll that makes Foxie’s hair stand on end with excitement. Together your support adds up to provide things like acreage for Jamie to patrol with her caregivers, for Missy to run to her heart’s content, and for Jody to harvest a plethora of wild plants from for eating and nesting for the first time in her life. Your support provides Negra with a nest of blankets fit for, well, a queen. And it provides Annie with the sense of security needed to finally be free from constant fear and anxiety:
Sanctuary is an invaluable gift and yet, I believe, every living being is born with the right to experience it, whatever that means to them. And each of you has in some way made sanctuary possible for the chimpanzees. A promise was made to the chimpanzees that they will be loved, cared for, respected and valued as the unique individuals they are in this, their forever home. Thank you for giving so generously of your time, thoughts, energy, and money, to ensure that this promise is kept. It means the world to us. But more importantly, it means the world to Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy and Negra.
Beautiful Annie at peace:
For those of you who have so generously given to our Share the Chimp Love campaign, thank you from the bottom of our hearts! Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and if you haven’t had a chance yet, there is still time to participate! And to make a difference for these seven very special beings.