Giving Tuesday is upon us once again, and this year I wonder- do we even deserve your support? Do we even ask for it? I mean it’s only animals, right? And not even the kind you get to come home to and cuddle, just the kind you maybe see on your way to work, flying in the sky or sitting by the roadside. Certainly not anything you’d normally get to touch or get attached to. They're just… there. Until maybe they aren't… but, I’m getting ahead of myself.
See, over the past couple years, there have emerged all sorts of causes to donate to and almost all of them focus on people who need help. And people in need arguably always take priority.
There’s been an emergence of near-constant
· political and social issue fundraising,
· disaster relief,
· homelessness and mental illness causes,
· your local kids’ sports teams,
· and more specifically for us here in the Sacramento Valley area helping those affected by the Paradise/ Camp Fire who have been displaced from their homes with nothing left.
All of these deserve our attention and support if they mean something to our lives. But, getting bombarded day in and day out to help everything and everyone gets exhausting, and here we are just one more organization asking for a portion of your hard-earned money, right? There’s only so much you can give, and to be honest I’ve found it difficult to justify asking for a portion from you in this climate. I mean, we’re focused on wildlife… they’re just animals.
So, how do any of us prioritize what means the most when so many organizations are asking for your help? The best any of us can do is just take a moment to listen, and then decide if our ideas of a better world, a better life, align with the organizations asking for our help. Because there are so many that do need our help. Too many.
But why should WE be asking for your support, especially right now? With victims of the Camp Fire now homeless, in the cold and rain, without shelter or the resources to obtain shelter anytime soon? With everything meant to protect them gone? Well, because we see those few sentences and know that all those reasons for giving generously now apply to the birds, deer, raccoons, and all the other wildlife that call the affected areas home as well. And while we understand that the coverage of the dire human need will rightfully far outstrip anything wildlife related, awareness of their plight must be discussed and addressed as well, even if not to the same degree.
Hundreds of thousands of acres worth of shelter, food, and protection were wiped out in just a few weeks and we’ve been told this is our new normal and that it’ll only get worse before it gets better. More animals need our help now and into the future, and we need to increase our area’s capacity to be able to handle the influx coming. We need more medical facilities in the Sacramento region to help manage the increase in patients that are sure to arrive. Our current resources are stretched to the limit. Our area is managing through the amazing help of a network of volunteers and coordinators, but we need more fast. The smoke we all experienced, the tightness in our chests- we humans in the Sacramento area could escape to the indoors and shut the doors and windows. The birds, deer, raccoons- they could only flee as best and as far as they could. We may never be able to fully quantify the toll this one fire alone took on our local wildlife ecosystems. But, we can prepare for what’s to come.
We at SacWildlife are raising funds to open a new, much-needed medical facility for the Sacramento area. We are raising funds to double our area’s capacity, because our area desperately needs it. We are raising funds to support the people who support our wildlife, through their tireless work to return these animals back to health and then return them to their homes in the wild. We are raising funds because the world feels different in areas without the chirp of birds and the rustling of squirrels.
So, do we even deserve your support this giving season? I don’t know, only you can decide that. But, I hope so.
J. Brian Cobos
*Starting at 5am PDT on Tuesday 11/27/2018, Facebook, in cooperation with PayPal, is matching donations made through their platform for fundraisers for nonprofits like us. You can help us by creating your own fundraiser in our name today and sharing it with your friends. You’ll need to get your friends to donate early tomorrow morning, as the matching funds are limited and were gone by about 10 or 11am last year. Every dollar you and your friends donate early has the potential to become a $2 donation for us. We appreciate your help in spreading the word.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers/ to learn more or to set up your event.