Friday, November 22, 2013

Thanksgiving Shout-out To You from Us!

In the spirit of the season, this issue of the volunteer shout-out comes from Tucson Audubon staff with special messages to our volunteers!
"One of the biggest components of my job is working with volunteers and I couldn’t be happier about the situation! Whether they are Important Bird Areas surveyors, data enterers, Tucson Bird Count counters or the programmer for the IBA database, our volunteers are awesome. They are upbeat, fun to work with, enthusiastic and extremely skilled in their area of expertise. Out of all the amazing attributes of the many volunteers I work with, the one the blows me away is their generosity of time. Some of the tasks I deploy volunteers on take lots of time and I would like to deeply thank all volunteers for sharing this most precious of commodities with Tucson Audubon." – Jennie MacFarland, IBA Coordinating Biologist

"Over the past year, dozens of volunteers have planted over 400 native grasses, shrubs, and trees at Atturbury Wash. These amazing folks have showed up quite early on Saturday mornings, braving sweltering heat and sun, as well as icy, sub-freezing mornings, to help Tucson Audubon increase wildlife friendly vegetation at the Wash.  Our volunteers represent a diversity of ages, interests and backgrounds as multifaceted as our Tucson community.  We've had hard-working Air Force personnel, eager college students, entire families, wise and wily retirees, police officers, and even exchange students from the Middle East! I'm personally extremely grateful for the ongoing opportunity to work with a variety of people who challenge my preconceptions about our society, always inspire me to learn, and help me become a more effective leader. Our work at Atturbury Wash just simply could not happen without these superb volunteers-thanks everyone, looking forward to seeing you out on the land again!" – Andy Bennett, Restoration Specialist

“I am thankful for each and every Tucson Audubon volunteer for making my job as Volunteer Coordinator so fun and inspiring! I am grateful for the generosity that volunteers bring to Tucson Audubon; you make a choice to spend your time working diligently for the birds and habitats of our community. Here's a special thanks to the volunteers who helped in a crunch, responding to my calls or emails for last-minute volunteer coverage (you know you are!). Lastly, I wanted to thank the volunteers with whom I directly worked for so many offsite and special events (including those spreading the word about those events) and those who accomplished incredible results working behind the scenes with database and data entry projects.” – Kara Kaczmarzyk, Development & Volunteer Coordinator

"I am so thankful for our Shop Volunteers.  Without them, we could not run our shops.  Our Shop volunteers take the initiative to learn about products in the store in order to be better at helping visitors, they have become experts at selling optics and really are enthusiastic about greeting visitors and helping visitors plan their best birding trips.  The Agua Caliente volunteers are an amazing group who have all stepped up to help run the Agua Caliente store and keep our presence at the park there. I am grateful for all of their dedication in making our Nature Shops a success!" – Sara Pike, Operations Manager

"Every time I meet a Tucson Audubon volunteer I get a really good feeling. Why? Because each volunteer brings their passion for birds freely and generously and with good humor. They are giving their time and expertise because it’s want they want to be doing, even though it can be such hard work. Most recently one volunteer who is in long-term recovery from surgery and for whom working is often painful, pushed a $100 bill into my hand and apologized for not giving more. Such passion and dedication is very humbling." – Paul Green, Executive Director
“As the other staff members have mentioned, volunteers are very vital to the success of TAS.  Generally, they are the first contact to the visitors and our members.  As volunteers, they help to promote the many programs we offer.  My main contact with them is through the mailing crew.  Each fourth Thursday of the month, they meet to stuff and seal the renewal membership letters plus other needed jobs to be done.  To date they have mailed 3,115 letters.  They are also on call for special mailings, i.e. Summer and Winter Appeal letters.  Those gatherings are also a social time for them to talk about their latest birding trip. Tucson Audubon is very gratefully for all the work they do.” – Jean Barchman, Membership Coordinator

"Last Saturday we were able to plant 90 trees and shrubs at our Atturbury Wash project due to a great volunteer turnout. Saturday volunteer days are a key tool for us to get this work done under our grant from the Arizona Water Protection Fund. And thanks to volunteers like Keith Ashley and many others, great things are happening at the Mason Center that we were able to show off at the Harvest Festival on November 9 and to a gathering of donors last Sunday." – Kendall Kroesen, Habitats Program Manager

"Without our Volunteers we could not do all that we do! Words cannot express how much we appreciate our volunteers’ time, dedication and efforts. Their hard work truly is the reason for the successes of the Nature Shops and TAS as a whole. We have the best volunteers and are SO thankful for them!" – Kelly DiGiacomo

"Simply put, Tucson Audubon just would not be the same without our volunteers!  It’s so much fun to team up with these special people, who bring so much enthusiasm and energy to the festival, gala, Birdathon and other projects. That our members are so deeply invested in the cause, and want to connect others with Tucson Audubon is inspiring and a great motivator in my work. I’m very thankful for all that I’ve learned from the experience and expertise shared by our awesome volunteers." – Erin Olmstead