Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Year End Gifts

My wife and I are lucky.  We have all of the things that we need and we make enough money to have most of the things that we want.  We even have some money left over to give to organizations that we believe in.  For many years we gave money to a number of national organizations, but in recent years we have focused our giving on several local organizations.

If you are reading this blog, it is probably plain to see that we care a lot about nature and the environment.  If you have any spare money and are looking to make a donation here are a couple of organizations that I know can will put the money to good use.

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy
The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy is our local land conservancy.  Their mission is to protect natural habitat and open space in the counties of the Chippewa River Watershed (includes the Chippewa, Pine, and Coldwater River).  The CWC operates in five Mid-Michigan counties: Isabella, Clare, Gratiot, Mecosta, and Montcalm.  They currently protect over 4,200 acres in those counties! That's over 6 1/2 square miles through a combination of privately owned conservation easements and Conservancy-owned preserves.

In addition to preserving land, the CWC works to educate the public about land and resource conservation, natural habitats, and the species that can be found throughout Mid-Michigan.  I donate my time as well as money - I lead many of the education walks such as this one coming up in January.  I like giving to the CWC because I know that the money will be used in the local community.  You can designate how you would like the CWC to use your money.  They are currently running a campaign to purchase the highest point in Isabella County as a preserve, but right now their operating budget is a higher concern.  The CWC receives much of its operating funds through grants from local foundations - their most recent grant request was tabled until the next giving cycle, putting the CWC in a deficit for the upcoming year.  Our most recent donation was toward the operating budget.

To donate to the CWC visit their website.

Wings of Wonder
Wings of Wonder (WOW) is a raptor sanctuary and rehabilitation center located in Empire, MI.  WOW rehabilitates and releases injured raptors across northern Michigan.  In addition to rehabilitating raptors for return to the wild, WOW houses a flock of Ambassador Birds that WOW founder and executive director Rebecca Lessard uses in raptor education programs across Michigan. Rebecca and the WOW birds have been to Mt. Pleasant each of the past two years to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at the Ziibiwing Center.  They will be back again on Saturday May 14th for the 2016 celebration.

Wings of Wonder operates entirely on donations and presentation fees.  Every dollar that is donated goes directly toward the care of the Ambassador Birds and the care and rehabilitation of injured wild raptors.  Rebecca and the WOW board of directors (and volunteers) do an amazing job!  We are very happy to make an annual donation to support WOW.

To donate to WOW visit their website.

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