Thursday, December 22, 2016

Year end gifts

My wife and I are fortunate.  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 and causes that we believe in.  We used to make small donations to a number of national organizations, but in recent years we have focused our giving slightly larger amounts to 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 will put the money to good use.

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 three years to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day at the Ziibiwing Center.  They will be back again on Saturday May 13th for the 2017 celebration.

Wings of Wonder operates entirely on donations and presentation fees - this year they seem to be struggling to meet their annual funding needs.  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

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 almost 4,900 acres in those counties! That's about 7 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 education walks such as this one coming up on New Year's Day.  I like giving to the CWC because I know that the money will be used in the local community.  You can even designate how you would like the CWC to use your money(operating budget/land acquistion/etc.).
To donate to the CWC visit their website.

Even if you don't donate to WOW or the CWC, please consider giving a small gift to another local conservation organization.  Groups such as these work in your neighborhood to protect and preserve local ecosystems and their inhabitants.  They often operate on a shoestring budget and every single dollar counts.

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