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Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at FWMA. Our volunteers are a valuable asset to our organization and we encourage you to become a part of our team.

OPPORTUNITIES AT THE CENTER.  These are some things you should consider if you would like to volunteer at the wildlife rehabilitation center in Crawfordville.

Age requirements.  All volunteers who would like to work at the center must be at least 16 years old. Younger volunteers are accepted as long as they are accompanied by an adult. We do however recommend that the parents and guardians keep in mind that this is a wildlife rehabilitation center where the animals are to be kept in a stress free environment with limited noise and interaction with humans; and as cute as they look in their cages that some can be quite dangerous. Due to our limited staffing we are unable to provide supervision for young children.

Duties.  Volunteers at the center do an abundance of household type chores and outdoor activities including  raking, taking out the garbage, washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, and laundry. In addition to daily chores, volunteers may be given the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to enable them to feed baby birds and mammals, foster animals in need, and participate in fundraising events and releases.

Animal contact.  Volunteers should keep in mind that our goal is always to rehabilitate and release whenever possible. These animals are not pets and must be cared for accordingly. Minimal contact is essential to help ensure they remain wild.

Schedule.  Volunteers can help 7 days a week from 8:00 am – 12 noon. We need trained volunteers who can help on a predictable schedule if possible, for instance: once a week for at least 3 to 4 hours on the same day. (We ask that volunteers be just as responsible with this opportunity as they would be with a regular job.) We depend heavily on our volunteers to make the Center successful. Consider your work, family and/or school schedule:  are you able to dedicate 3 to 4 hours a week to the Center?

Environment.  Working at the Center can be a dirty job so please make sure you are dressed appropriately. Wear clothing that is comfortable, and that you don’t mind if it gets stained or bleached. Most of our jobs revolve around cleaning, and you would be amazed at how dirty you can get while cleaning other things!

This can be quite a smelly job, we are taking care of a large number of different animals and we are cleaning their dirty pens. Please keep in mind that you are going to come into contact with some pretty unique smells!

Projects.  There are always cages that need to be redone, repaired or refurbished which would make a good group project or Eagle Scout project.  There are a number of large projects or general cleanup days that require a larger group (10-20 people). These might include sanding or graveling cages, minor repairs, putting up shade cloth, raking, and picking up tree limbs/sticks.

OTHER OPPORTUNITIES.  There are a number of different volunteer opportunities that can be performed by all ages that don’t involve being at the center but gives us the support we need in other ways.

For the kids.  Many of the animals eat things you can find outside such as acorns, pecans, peanuts, sand pears, blueberries, and blackberries. This can make a really fun project for the kids and is incredibly helpful for our weekly food bill as well as keeping the animal’s diets similar to the ones they would have in the wild.

Wish List.  FWMA uses a tons of supplies both for cleaning and for feeding so many wildlife patients so why not put together a fundraiser, food drive, or a penny drive to benefit the critters. For ideas for food or supplies, please check out the Wish List.

Work at home.  There are also some jobs that require a little patience such as folding out newspapers. Each cage is lined with newspapers daily so we go through a lot of them. Folding out newspapers can be a huge help to our staff members and can be done at your convenience at home even in front of the TV!

Fundraising.  It is a tremendous challenge to raise the funds needed to operate a 24/7 wildlife center in a rural area with no state/county/federal funding. Each year we plan a number of fundraising events that we need volunteer assistance to make successful.

  • Two yard sales a year. These are three-day events that you can help us by obtaining donated items, setting up tables, assisting customers, and distributing leftover items to other nonprofits.
  • Two silent auctions. We need help soliciting for items, making bid sheets, filling out ‘thank you’ notes or receipts, running the auction, and distributing purchased items.
  • Three mailings. We need help folding, stuffing, and stamping.
  • Christmas Tree sales. You can help by decorating live red cedars to sell in November.

If you would like to become a FWMA volunteer, please download a Volunteer application. We look forward to meeting you!