Arlene and Michael Okun, supporters of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest for the last several years, are celebrating their anniversary today and have chosen to include sponsoring a day of sanctuary as part of their celebration.
They included this very touching message, which I think everyone should take a moment to read before you head into the rest of your day or your weekend:
We have so much to be thankful for, and as we count our blessings we include CSNW among them. Thank you for the outstanding work that you do. We would like to share our special day with the chimps. We wish them and all of you what I think we all would like: to be well, to feel safe, to feel loved, to have good company, to be happy, and to find joy in every day.
What a beautiful message, Arlene and Michael!
It is what we wish for everyone reading this too. A big happy anniversary to you both!
Today must be a magical day, because two wonderful people were born on this day who have loved ones that sponsored a day of sanctuary in their honor.
For the 2nd sponsor-a-day, Ed Brooks shared this loving message for Alisa Lemire Brooks:
Alisa loves animals with a boundless passion. She works on behalf of animals struggling to survive in their native environment. She fights on behalf of animals imprisoned by the entertainment industry.
The seven chimpanzees at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest occupy a special place in her heart. She would rather they get something special from our donation than get a present herself.
We spent a beautiful day visiting the chimps a couple summers back, we were so moved by the beauty of the place, the care and dedication of all the people involved, and the seven beautiful souls we saw out on Young’s Hill.
Happy Birthday Alisa!
All of us at the sanctuary send our happiest of birthday wishes to you, Alisa. Thank you for your caring heart.
It’s appropriate to get really mushy because it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, right?
I am going to share something I love about each of the chimpanzees below, but first I need to get mushy about you – Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest supporters.
First, a confession: fundraising has not been my life’s ambition. I’ve met people who I might call “born fundraisers,” and I can definitively say that they posses qualities that I simply do not.
However, the more I do this fundraising thing, the more I appreciate what a unique and special position I am in. I get to make dreams come true – dreams for the chimpanzees, and dreams for donors who support the chimpanzees. We are all very much in this together, with the same goals for the future, and I feel that connection when I talk to those who support the sanctuary.
Not many people have a job that is so fulfilling, and very few people have a job with so much positive feedback. Katelyn and I were talking about this in the office the other day – we regularly have people call or email to not only make a donation, but also to say that they love the work we are doing and appreciate us sharing stories of the chimpanzees, allowing them to feel connected to the chimps as the individuals who they are.
Thank you for being supportive and for sharing your love with the chimpanzees – and with the humans too!
Speaking of which… as I write this, we are just $1,797 away from reaching our $12,000 goal for the Share the Chimp Love fundraiser, which ends at the end of the day tomorrow. UPDATE: big thanks to Julie L. for donating exactly $1,797 after this post was published!
If you are feeling the love, but haven’t yet made a donation, you can share that love now on this page. You can choose to spread the love even further by donating in honor of someone else for Valentine’s Day, or just make a donation for the love of Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy, and Negra.
Below are just some of the things that I love about each of the chimpanzees at the sanctuary.
It would be so fun for me if you also shared what you love about Annie, Burrito, Foxie, Jamie, Jody, Missy, and Negra in the comments!
I love ANNIE’s serenity:
and her bird noises!
I love when BURRITO’s “chimpanzeeness” really comes through (for the full explanation of the video below, see this blog post from 2013 when it was originally published):
I love FOXIE’S “happy toes” (video from 2010):
I love JAMIE’s brave leadership:
I love JODY’ nesting skills:
I love MISSY’s ability to entertain herself:
I love NEGRA’s playful moments (video from 2011):
Thank you again for being a part of Sharing the Chimp Love!
… that Burrito, Missy, Jamie, Jody, Annie, Foxie, and Negra were ever thought of as a means to an end in biomedical testing.
Thanks to everyone who has supported Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and allowed these seven chimpanzees to learn how to be chimpanzees, to learn who they are, and to be able to live in a home full of love and freedom. This video, as always, is for you!
From the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams: “Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
Here’s a troll doll who is in the process of becoming real, thanks to the love of one Foxie Chimpanzee: