I could not help but feel incredibly moved this morning, as myself and volunteers Erin and Tanya were cleaning the Greenhouse portion of the chimpanzee’s living quarters. There is a brightly colored painting with supporter names on the one main wall that caught my attention and I stopped to really look at it. There are so many names on the wall. As I continued to look around at all of the items in the Greenhouse, all I could think about was how every component of the sanctuary is the result of a community of loving, thoughtful and caring people.
There are so many components that make up the sanctuary, including various paintings on the walls that really help to brighten the chimpanzee areas. Various structures, tires and dangling fire hoses provide space for the chimps to climb, play, and rest. Countless blankets and enrichment items contribute to the chimpanzees’ comfort and well-being. Even the tools we use to clean, including the scrub brushes, squeegees, buckets, soap, right down to the very gloves we wear, help staff and volunteers keep the enclosures clean. Fresh fruits and vegetables make up each of the meals, while bamboo planted around Young’s Hill and in the Greenhouse give the chimps extra nesting and foraging material. And then there are the enclosures and storage spaces themselves that have been made possible by those who have donated their time, energy, expertise and the actual materials needed to construct them.
All of CSNW, every square inch, every little detail, has been made possible by countless volunteers and generous supporters. These chimpanzees are loved world wide and I can’t think of a better gift to give them than a community that is dedicated to their well-being. I know it can never make up for the countless ways in which they have been wronged in the past, but it’s the best we all can do to provide them a now and a future that is full of hope, love and sanctuary.
Looking around and seeing all the parts that make up the whole got me to thinking, why do we do it? Why do we dedicate our lives to the well-being of these chimpanzees? Is it a sense of responsibility, a way to show our compassion for all living beings, or is it when we look into their eyes, we see ourselves? Perhaps there are no words to describe why. What is your reason for being a part of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest?
Which ever way you choose to support the sanctuary, know that you have and will continue to make a huge impact on the lives of these chimpanzees. And thank you!!! Thank you those who have and those who continue to volunteer at the sanctuary; those who have donated their time, energy and services to help our various fundraising efforts including the HOOT! Gala event; those who help spread the word about the plight of chimpanzees in captivity and in the wild through our Eyes on Apes advocacy program; those who have donated items through our Wishlist, and those who choose to Sponsor a day in honor of a loved one or directly sponsor a chimpanzee through our Chimpanzee Pal program. Thank you for being a part of the CSNW community.