Celebrating National Volunteer Week 2024

This National Volunteer Week, the Wildlife Center of Virginia is highlighting the incredible team of volunteers who make our mission possible. Each day, Wildlife Center volunteers help in a variety of ways — animal care volunteers help prepare dozens (or hundreds!) of diets each day for patients in our care, treatment team volunteers help hold sick and injured patients so the veterinary staff can perform life-saving treatments, transporters drive patients in need to and from the Center, and outreach volunteers help lead tours and other educational programs and events. 

"We simply couldn't do what we do without our dedicated volunteers," says Elizabeth Duffy, the Center’s Volunteer Coordinator. "Their compassion, skills, and willingness to go the extra mile are what allow us to provide life-saving care for the thousands of sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals we treat each year."

During the past year, volunteers have given an incredible amount of their time and energy to the Center through multiple departments:

  • Treatment Team Volunteers assisted staff with the care of our animal patients through daily medical treatments and record-keeping, medicine and supplies inventory, and performing basic diagnostic tests.
  • Rehabilitation Team Volunteers worked closely with the rehabilitation team as they prepared and delivered daily patient meals, recorded weights and food intake, captured and restrained patients for treatments, and exercised raptor patients that were approaching their possible return to the wild. 
  • Housekeeping Volunteers helped keep our hospital running smoothly by cleaning crates, sorting and folding laundry, washing dishes, and disinfecting meal preparation areas.
  • Transport and Rescue Volunteers served the Wildlife Center and their communities by facilitating the rescue of wild animals and assisting members of the public who would otherwise be unable to transport them to the Center on their own.
  • Outreach Volunteers helped to communicate our conservation messages to diverse groups of children and adults from all across the Commonwealth by leading on-site tours and off-site events.
  • Administrative Volunteers help with documenting, maintaining, and updating thousands of vital patient records per year. 

In total, our volunteers have contributed 18,734 hours (and 27 minutes) of unpaid labor – plus an unknown number of miles driven during patient rescue and transport — to the Center during 2023, asking for nothing in return. If you are one of the individuals who has volunteered at the Wildlife Center since our founding 42 years ago, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks!

“As a former wildlife rehabilitator at the Center," shares Duffy, "I can personally say how much we value and treasure our volunteers. During the past several years I have witnessed their levels of skill and confidence grow as they've been trained on more advanced tasks. I cannot wait to work with more individuals with similar passions, and continue to build those relationships with the Center and the community.” 

The Center is always looking for passionate individuals to join our cause. Learn more about the opportunities that are available for those with a variety of skills and interests on our Volunteer Opportunities page.

Happy National Volunteer Week!