SUBMITTED BY 100+ Women who care
After three compelling presentations, including from the Beaver Point Community Hall Association and Salt Spring Therapeutic Riding Association, Jane Armstrong’s nominated cause Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre (IWNCC) was declared the winner during 100+ Women Who Care’s meeting on Nov. 16.
The organization was awarded the collected total of approximately $15,000 to go towards replacing its much-needed wildlife rescue vehicle.
Armstrong, who is president and chair of the group’s board of directors, emphasized how important it is that a resource like the Island Wildlife Centre is available.
“Almost everyone has encountered a bird hitting a window, a fawn by the roadside hit by a car, an orphaned seal, or an animal or bird injured by a pet,” she said. “It is very distressing when people discover injured, sick, or orphaned wildlife.”
Since 1996, the IWNCC has been the only facility on the Gulf Islands and Central Vancouver Island offering emergency care to wild animals seven days a week, 365 days a year, answering emergency pages 24 hours a day. For each call, the centre ensures every animal is rescued safely and properly by staff or its 130+ trained volunteers.
Last year, IWNCC rescued 723 animals and birds and answered hundreds of phone calls to provide information and advice on everything from how to keep raccoons out of one’s yard, manage bird feeders, and keep otters from nesting under the house.
With its tight budget, comprised of 54 per cent from private donations and the balance from annual appeals to foundations and grants, the wildlife centre is able to employ a full-time veterinarian and cover the basic costs of its facilities and operations. Extras, however, are tough.
“We offer transportation by vehicle or boat as needed for the rescue and then provide the appropriate medical care, TLC and rehabilitation with the goal of release,” Armstrong explained. “Our current animal rescue vehicle is over 20 years old and not considered reliable to take off-island.”
The funds from 100+ Women Who Care will be directed towards the campaign of replacing the vehicle. A small used 4WD truck is being sought to keep staff, volunteers and the animals they transport safe throughout their crucial missions. Additional donations towards this goal are gladly accepted.
“In addition to providing compassionate, knowledgeable care for hundreds of animals each year, the Island Wildlife Natural Care Centre provides peace of mind to many Gulf Islands residents, giving them somewhere to turn when they encounter a wild animal in distress,” said Armstrong.
“We see animals as independent lives, not as populations,” added Jeff Lederman, the centre’s founder. “If we can prevent the needless suffering of a single animal, then we have done important work.”
The 100 Women Who Care initiative was launched in 2006 as a simple, efficient and effective collective fundraising model for charities. One hundred (or more) women each contribute $100 and vote for one of three nominated charities three times a year. There are now over 400 chapters active across North America.
The Salt Spring branch was founded November 2018 to bring this high-impact philanthropy to the island, and in four years, it has raised over $211,000 for now 12 causes, including eldercare services, pathways, the public library, the SPCA, IWAV, Community Services, and Search & Rescue. Any member of 100+ Women Who Care can nominate a CRA-registered charity that has a local impact.
The nominations deadline for the next 100+ Women Who Care vote is Jan. 13, 2023.