Happy holidays everyone! On behalf of the flock, volunteers and board of directors, we want to send our warmest wishes that you all have an amazing holiday season surrounded by loved ones and friends.
As we look back on the past year, and look forward to the coming one, we are filled once again with deep gratitude for everything that each and every one of you give. We truly couldn’t live our mission without the support you all provide. 2019 saw us celebrate our 20th anniversary, launch a major capital campaign as we work towards a new facility, continue to upgrade and update our current facility, welcome several new flock members and two new board members, and launch a newly designed website.
Major Fundraising and Long-Term Goal
As we celebrated 20 years since we opened our doors to parrots in need, we launched a major fundraising challenge to raise $10,000 in donations which would allow us to receive a matching donation earmarked towards a new facility. We’re excited to share that we were able to achieve this match, and have our first major fundraising piece in place towards this long-term goal! We hope you’ll all keep an eye out as we will have additional fundraising opportunities towards this effort in the future. All of your support will be key as we work towards our long-term goal of relocating the flock to a new facility.
While we are incredibly grateful for our current home, it has some limitations in size and ability to provide the flock with outdoor access (as weather permits) and greater interior space for indoor flights. Providing this would allow our flock an environment closer to what nature intended even when the Minnesota winter comes. We’re incredibly grateful for the support you’ve all shown and we look forward to sharing our future fundraising initiatives towards this goal.
Upgrades to the Shelter
As we look towards the future, we made sure to keep a firm handle on today by moving forward on some significant upgrades to our current home. By upgrading our 30-year-old boiler, we’re expecting to see much more efficient heating as well as greater cost savings and a reduction to our carbon footprint. With that done, we will now look to update the flooring on our upper level.
Doing so will not only increase the value of the building but also make cleaning easier and increase the overall durability of the building as we work with our flock.
New Website Design
We didn’t lose sight of upgrading our public face during 2019 either, rolling out a massive website upgrade. This new site has a far more streamlined look and feel.
This has made it much easier for those interested in learning more about MAARS to be able to quickly locate information and donate. It also provides easy access to our online store as well as a new home for archived newsletter articles.
You’ll also find bios and photos of several of the MAARS flock and we will be regularly adding more.
This was exciting for all of us, and we hope you like the new site!
New Flock Members
We were thrilled to welcome several new members of our flock in 2019 as well. Two Umbrella Cockatoos named Gus and Winston, 6 Cockatiels named Skeletor & Kojak, Chester, Donnie, Bailey & Crackers, and one Jenday Conure named Rowdy all joined MAARS over the course of the year.
It’s been both heartwarming and gratifying to see them settle into their new surroundings and start to overcome some of the emotional wounds that had plagued them in previous homes and rescues.
All have found very comfortable niches within the flock and are learning to trust and engage with volunteers and other birds again.
New Board Members
2019 also gave us the opportunity to welcome two new board members, Beth Hansen & Linda Pearl.
Both have been significant parts of our organization for some time and bring real-world experience and will help us continue to move our efforts to provide the best care possible for all of our birds.
Beth joined MAARS in 2016 but has been associated with us since adopting one of our birds in 2004. She brings a wealth of experience with birds, operations, and bookkeeping that we know will be a huge asset to our board.
Linda has been with MAARS since 2009 but has also been associated with us since 2003. With a strong background in the day-to-day working of the sanctuary, her volunteer experience, and social media and fundraising skills we look forward to seeing her help us push forward our message in the years to come.
Lastly, 2020 will also give us the opportunity to increase the cadence of these newsletters, and we’re extremely excited to be able to share more of the work we’re doing on a more consistent basis and give you all the opportunity to get more involved with our efforts.
In short, 2019 has been a tremendous year, one with a lot of change, change that would not be possible without all of your continued support throughout the year. Whether by donating money, time or needed goods, every little bit adds up to a larger whole, one in which we’re able to provide our flock with the space, enrichment, and care they’re so deserving of. From the bottom of all of our hearts, we thank you.
Support the Flock
Support the flock by purchasing unique holiday gifts from the flock including the 2020 Flock calendar, original paintings, new prints, and new greeting cards. 100% of the profits from the sales of items purchased through MAARS go directly to providing care for the MAARS flock.
You can also assist MAARS’ mission by making a tax-deductible donation, following us on Facebook and supporting our Bird of the Month, choosing MAARS as your designated charity through Amazon’s Smile program or through your sales on eBay for Charity, shopping through iGive, GoodShop, or providing food, supplies and toys for the flock at Nuts.com and My Safe Bird Store.