Shelly: Why I Volunteer

April 20 – 27, 2013 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week – and we have a special appreciation for the volunteers who help us here at our clinic in Waynesboro!  Scores of volunteers donate their time and services at the Wildlife Center in a variety of ways – cleaning animal enclosures, feeding orphaned wildlife, assisting the veterinarians with daily treatments, transporting patients to and from the Center, and more!

As we honor our hard-working volunteers this week, we asked them:  Why do you volunteer at the Center?  What keeps you coming back?  Throughout this week we’ll share their responses on our blog.

Interested in volunteering with us?  Learn more!

This post is from Outreach Docent volunteer Shelly. Shelly has been volunteering with the Wildlife Center since 2013:

I volunteer at the Wildlife Center as an Environmental Education Docent and a Rescue/Transporter for two reasons: 1) I love wildlife and the environment, and since I don't have gazillions of dollars to donate, I can instead donate my time and energy to help the animals and the earth. 2) I love sharing the things that I'm passionate about with other people, and volunteering specifically in the Outreach area lets me do just that.

What keeps me coming back?  Pignoli and Gus and Grayson and Buddy and Quinn and Buttercup and all of the amazing education animals! They thrive in their roles as wildlife ambassadors, and my heart just lights up every time I see them.

Of course, none of this could exist without the staff of the WCV. Their dedication to helping wildlife and the environment and sharing the WCV mission is truly inspiring. Every time I set foot on the WCV grounds, I know that I will be surrounded by all that's good in the world. It's hard not to crave an environment like that!

Volunteering at the WCV is very personally rewarding. I believe strongly in the mission of the Wildlife Center - to teach the world to care about and to care for wildlife and the environment - and I feel that every tour I give and every story I tell contributes to that mission. I want to spread the good! It's a case of little things adding up to big changes. Maybe, visitors to the WCV will be inspired to adopt a critter or donate a few dollars. Maybe they'll take note of the WCV telephone number and pick up the phone next time they see an injured animal. Maybe they'll remember that critters don't need litter and stop throwing apple cores out the car window. Maybe they'll sign up to volunteer at the WCV. Maybe they'll tell a friend about the amazing work that the Wildlife Center does - and maybe that friend will visit and be similarly inspired. Maybe they'll appreciate the natural world around them just a little bit more than the day before.

The results of my work at the Wildlife Center are impossible to quantify, but I know that outreach and education make a big difference. I am honored and so very lucky to have the opportunity to serve the Wildlife Center of Virginia and all of my animal friends.

Read more from our other volunteers on our blog!

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