Darcy Fusch

As a bird owner, I have a responsibility to plan for the future of my birds who will likely outlive me. When I was creating a pet trust for my birds” care after my death, I asked various “bird people” I knew for recommendations of quality sanctuaries and started by looking into each one online. My criteria were that the sanctuary should 1, give my birds personal attention as well as good care for the duration of their lives, and 2, have an organizational structure that would guarantee my birds a safe, enriching, and permanent home in the future. Amongst others, the Oasis name came up. While doing further research, I was encouraged by the administrative staff to tour the site, which impressed me. Finally free to travel in December, 2010, I felt an obligation to visit the sanctuary that I had chosen to become my birds” final home and an obligation to support the sanctuary that had agreed to become their final home. Not having money to donate at the time, I volunteered my labor instead.

I know through personal experience that organizing and directing volunteers is not an easy task, but the staff at the Oasis made me feel welcome from the outset. They were adept at completing an overwhelming amount of work on site while patiently teaching me to assist them. They were generous with their friendship, their knowledge, and their time. For my purposes, it was invaluable to volunteer for longer than a week in order to appreciate the organization and leadership responsible for the high standard of cleanliness, nutrition, medical care, security, and quality of life the birds of the Oasis enjoy. It was also invaluable to observe firsthand the real and often tragic results of the wild bird trade, impulse purchases, well-meaning but uninformed owners, abuse, and overpopulation so that when at home, I educate myself and work to right these wrongs.

The Oasis volunteer experience is more about education than effort; it is personally rewarding on many levels. Volunteering is a chance to demonstrate one”s appreciation for the dedicated staff and to help secure the existence of the sanctuary for the needs of the future. I encourage you to find out for yourself and sign up to volunteer today.