The first wildlife baby shower, held on Saturday, June 4 at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, was a success for the patients of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. An estimated 125 individual families and groups showed their support by donating a variety of supplies that are essential to the care of injured and orphaned native wildlife within the wildlife hospital. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida received approximately $1,700 in monetary donations and more than $3,300 worth of items from the wish list, which included medical supplies, towels, cleaning products, food items and various office supplies.
The von Arx Wildlife Hospital is a nonprofit that relies 100 percent on donations to continue caring for the 3,200 patients that enters its facilities each year. Wildlife admissions to the von Arx Wildlife Hospital have increased by 20 percent within the last year, and the wildlife hospital is experiencing a greater need for the supplies that are needed to care for its patients.
“It is absolutely encouraging to have such tremendous community support,” said Joanna Fitzgerald, director of the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. “I am so grateful that we live in a place where people are so incredibly passionate about our wildlife.”
The idea for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s first wildlife baby shower originated from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s naturalist, Jordan Findley, who came up with the idea for the event as part of earning her master’s degree from Miami Ohio University.
“We had such an amazing turn out of various members of our community and beyond. We had people come from north of Fort Myers and even as far as Miami. Everyone was so incredibly eager to support the wildlife hospital and ‘help the babies,’” Findley said. “I was truly taken back by the amount of support we received. It exceeded all of my expectations.”
Donations are still being accepted for those who wish to show their support for the animals at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s von Arx Wildlife Hospital. Supplies are needed year-round to help the Conservancy of Southwest Florida continue to care for the thousands of patients within the von Arx Wildlife Hospital. A list of needed items and access to the Conservancy of Southwest Florida’s Amazon Wish List can be found at www.conservancy.org/wishlist. Monetary donations can be made online at www.conservancy.org/helpwildlife.
About the Conservancy of Southwest Florida:
The Conservancy of Southwest Florida is a not-for-profit environmental protection organization with a 50 year history focused on the issues impacting the water, land wildlife and future of Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Conservancy accomplishes this mission through the combined efforts of its experts in the areas of environmental science, policy, education and wildlife rehabilitation. The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, world-class Nature Center and von Arx Wildlife Hospital are headquartered in Naples, Florida, 1495 Smith Preserve Way, south of the Naples Zoo off Goodlette-Frank Road. Learn more about the Conservancy’s work and how to support the quality of life in Southwest Florida www.conservancy.org.