This week is National Volunteer Appreciation week and I’m finding that there are not enough words to express how much our volunteers mean to us.
As the pandemic hit in March of 2020, we made the extremely tough decision to limit the numbers of humans that we had coming to the sanctuary in order to help protect the chimpanzees. This meant we had to lay off the bulk of our extremely valuable volunteer and intern workforce. While only a few volunteers were able to adapt to our strict protocols and qualifications, others found different ways to help at a distance. They filled bags of primate chow from home,collected enrichment and helped plan fundraising events. Their creativity and resourcefulness has been astounding!
Now, 2 years later, we are still working with a limited (although slightly larger) group of volunteers. Our COVID protocols have adjusted over time, but our resources (high quality masks and rapid tests) remain limited, so we currently have an active group of only 6 volunteer caregivers. While there are still many of our loving volunteers on hiatus through no fault of their own, we wanted to specifically recognize the very hard work and dedication of our current “Level 3” caregivers.
Please join me in thanking Patti, Lisa, Elizabeth, Keri, Lizz and Krissy for all their hard work during this ongoing pandemic. We seriously couldn’t have done it without you and we can’t wait for the day when we can welcome more volunteers back to the sanctuary!
Besides hard working, our volunteers can also be elusive to photograph, so we have a mixture of old and new photos of them.
Patti cleaning the front rooms:
Lisa and Foxie:
A 2015 throwback photo of Keri and Jamie:
Elizabeth and Honey B:
Krissy disinfecting the front rooms:
Lizz grooming Jamie: