Today, I helped New Jersey Audubon Society scientists record data on the resighting of this banded American Redstart. Such a beautiful warbler and a wonderful day birding on Sandy Hook (Gateway National Recreation Area, Highlands, New Jersey)! Arguably the best way to add a bird to your life list.
Scoured the shelves for deals on Black Friday? Gearing up for gadget buying on Cyber Monday? Don’t forget to honor the most important day of this week (after Thanksgiving, of course), Giving Tuesday.
Giving Tuesday is a call to action, a national day of giving around the annual shopping and spending season. The third annual #GivingTuesday will take place on this coming Tuesday December 2, 2014.
#GivingTuesday is a day for giving back, to write a check to a worthwhile cause or to donate your time and expertise to charity. #GivingTuesday, where global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more have come together to shape a new movement. A movement so compelling that the White House has taken notice.
A day that inspires personal philanthropy and encourages bigger, better and smarter charitable giving during the holiday season. A day that proves that the holidays can be about both giving and giving back.
Show your support for Giving Tuesday by taking a photo and uploading it to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #UNselfie. For more information, check out the short YouTube video below or visit #GivingTuesday on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
On Giving Tuesday 2014, I have decided to give back to the birds in my home state. One of my favorite organizations working specifically on avian rehabilitation and education is The Raptor Trust. My sister and I visited the Trust back in May of this year and had an incredible day. Everyone on staff was extremely friendly and enthusiastically answered our questions about the birds of prey in their care. Even the volunteer working the at gift shop was proud to discuss the history of the Trust and their birds with us. For those birds that would not survive if they were released, The Raptor Trust property has become their home. We were able to see these residents up close and personal. The birds were so beautiful that we walked through the Trust twice to be sure we didn’t miss anybody!
Officially founded in 1983, The Raptor Trust is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and one of the premier wild bird rehabilitation centers in the United States.
Located in Millington, NJ, the Trust property includes a hospital with state-of-the-art medical facilities, quality exterior housing for several hundred birds, and an education building. For three decades, the Trust has worked tirelessly to fulfill it’s mission:
- To provide free care and assistance to injured, sick, or orphaned wild birds.
- To educate people about wild birds, especially birds of prey.
- To provide a humane example for others.
20-something Environmentalist sat down with Director of The Raptor Trust, Chris Soucy, and asked what continues to motivate and inspire the work that he is doing.
Chris explained, “One of the greatest rewards in our work is to be able to release a bird back into the wild after we have cared for it. The birds come to us sick, injured or orphaned bird in great numbers – as many as 4,000 each year. It takes a huge team of dedicated volunteers, along with a medical staff, veterinarians, educators and administrative help to run the center. These caring people put their hearts and souls into the work we do. Because we are successful more often than not in releasing our patients back into the wild where they belong, the rewarding feeling that comes from it happens all the time – for our staff and volunteers, for the people who find injured birds and bring them to us, and no doubt for the birds themselves.”
Chris went on to explain, “In our 32+ year history we have cared for over 90,000 wild birds and released more than half of them back into the wild. On site, we have a full-service medical center and a education center where we present programs to thousands of visitors each year about birds, wildlife and conservation. Our center is open to the public year round, and visitors here can see hawks, falcons, eagles and vultures up close and learn about what amazing and ecologically important creatures they are.”
Please consider The Raptor Trust when making your year-end gifts this #GivingTuesday and throughout the holiday season. Help them help all things winged.
To learn how to get involved with The Raptor Trust, and for more amazing photographs of birds of prey, like them on Facebook.
Here are a few other excellent New Jersey organizations working on
- Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey
- Marine Mammal Stranding Center
- New Jersey Audubon Society
- Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge
- Woodlands Wildlife Refuge
This #GivingTuesday, Tuesday, December 2, 2014, consider making an impact on the world. Choose an issue that you are passionate and donate your time or funds to organizations that are part of the solution. Be a force for good.