Once the oil spill occurred Jeff and Pam knew that this was more then they could handle alone. Luckily for them people just started to show up wanting to help. It was early on in the disaster and the Government, and oil company were not ready to rescue, or care for the animals. Over the next few days dozens of concerned individuals showed up bringing supplies or ready to help.
Some of the first volunteers got a crash course on animal handling and went to work helping clean the recovered geese. As more animals came, so did the volunteers and donations. Shortly some volunteers were needed to just keep track of volunteers and all of the supplies being brought in. Over a few days time it became apparent several people were putting in full days helping at the refuge.
After the couple weeks things were working like a well oiled machine. Volunteers had filled in positions of tracking donations, scheduling volunteers to help at the refuge, contacting media, and many other positions.
One of the most interesting things about our volunteers is they are not all local. We have volunteers that come from all over Michigan, had several come in from Canada, and one clear across the country from California. Some volunteers even work remotely by answering the field office phone that is set to ring at their home.
Now that the crisis of the oil spill has subsided Circle D Wildlife is ready to grow. We will be using volunteers to help in this effort. We now have volunteer staff that are working on fundraising, education programs, and the general administrative tasks. As we continue to operate the refuge and grow we will need others to help with on-site activities, working with the animals and more.
Another thing we could not have done without was the many donations brought in to the refuge. These were everything from dawn dish soap all the way to the construction of our new hospital barn. One special donor that touched all of our hearts at Circle D was eight year old Levi who showed up one day with his mom, some friends, and a van load of supplies. Levi had spent several days collecting six hundred dollars outside of stores to buy the supplies.
Now that we have started to transition out of the crisis we still need donations and volunteers. Circle D Wildlife Refuge will never be the same after the experiences brought by this spill. We feel that it was a blessing in disguise and know that helping the animals is the right path. We look to grow and expand over the coming months and years…. We cannot do it without the help of many volunteers, donors, and prayers.