Monday, December 15, 2014

Gifts and Giving

Last December I wrote a post titled "Ten Things Kids Should Ask for This Christmas (or Their Parents Should Get for Them Anyway)".  The list included items to help kids get outside(rubber boots and a waterproof jacket/raincoat); things useful to help kids find things (aquatic dip net, insect net, and magnifying glass); and tools for identifying and recording their finds (guide books, a notebook/sketchbook, colored pencils, a pencil sharpener, and a cheap digital camera).  I still think this list is appropriate for kids of ages (including adults).

This year, instead of suggesting gifts for kids.  I would like to suggest giving money to groups that support the environment.  I used to gift money to national groups, but now I prefer to give my support to groups that support conservations and education efforts locally.

Chippewa Valley Audubon Club
My wife and I are members of our local Audubon chapter - I am currently the vice president.  Every year we pay our annual membership dues, but we also typically give a small donation to the club.  I know that our money goes to support educational nature programs in our local area.

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy
We also give an annual donation to the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy.  The CWC  currently protects over four thousand acres in the local community through conservation easements and a series of preserves.  This year for our donation, we did something a little bit different.  
I own a lot of plaid shirts - more than twenty in all.  I wore a different one every week day during the month of November.  My wife posted a photo of my shirt each day on her Facebook account - at the end of the first three weeks we challenged all of her friends and family to wear a plaid shirt on the same day.  We said we would donate $5 to the CWC for each person who joined me in wearing plaid that day.  Fifteen people took up the challenge - meaning that we would donate $75 dollars in response.  We made a further (previously planned) donation at the same time.  It was fun  including other people in our gift giving and I plann on doing something similar in 2015.

Wings of Wonder
The third organization that I plan to make a gift to before the end of the year is Wings of Wonder.  Wings of Wonder is a non-profit raptor sanctuary located in Empire, MI - that's in the northwest corner of the Lower Peninsula.   In addition to providing a sanctuary for injured raptors, Wings of Wonder provides rehabilitation services for injured raptors that can be released to the wild, and provides numerous raptor education programs throughout the northern Lower Peninsula with their ambassador birds.  
Rebecca Lessard is the founder and director of Wings of Wonder.  In May, Rebecca brought several of the WoW ambassador birds to Mt. Pleasant for our International Migratory Bird Day Celebration at the Ziibiwing Center.  The presentation was absolutely wonderful.  In October, Rebecca lost her husband Don.  After Don's passing, the WoW board of directors cleared Rebecca's schedule for the remainder of the year.  Because Wings of Wonder gets approximately 30% of its revenues from presentation fees, this meant a significant part of WoW's income suddenly disappeared.  If you have any extra funds and can make a donation, I am sure it will be greatly appreciated.

No comments:

Post a Comment