Citywide Banks employees have nominated seven Colorado charities to compete in its next Charity Hand-Up Contest taking place on Facebook from November 3-17, 2014. The community is invited to vote for a nominee and enter prize drawings. $8,000 in cash donations will be split between nominees based on the voting results.
In 1999, Debbie Strimple and other wild bird enthusiasts saw a need in Denver for an organization dedicated to the care of orphaned and injured wild birds. She witnessed the devastation of wild birds colliding with cars, windows, and power lines and losing their homes due to storms and other destructive events.
The next year, Strimple founded the Wild Bird Information and Rehabilitation of Denver (Wild B.I.R.D.) as a nonprofit organization. During its early years, the group saved a couple of hundred birds a year with the help of a few volunteers. Now, the organization treats, on average, about 3,000 birds annually with a 60% release rate. To date they’ve returned over 28,000 birds back into the Colorado skies.
Kim Johnson, treasurer for Wild B.I.R.D., says that the majority of birds are brought to them by the public. Some veterinary clinics refer people and other times the city of Denver and surrounding cities and counties bring injured birds or birds infected with botulism or West Nile Virus to them.
Johnson explained that windstorms or hailstorms often bring down nests and the baby birds fall out or get blown away. Birds are frequently brought in because they’ve hit a window, a building, or a moving vehicle. But sometimes, it’s due to people carelessly knocking down birds’ nests or intentionally causing them harm.
“Lots of people clean swallow nests off their houses or bridges when there are babies in them. We’ve also seen pigeons that have been poisoned or trapped in glue traps. It’s really horrifying,” Johnson reports.
The nonprofit treats more than 80 species of songbirds and migratory birds, with the most common species being robins, blue jays, magpies, crows, pigeons, geese, ducks, finches and swallows. It costs an average of $40 to rehabilitate each bird.
In addition to bird rehabilitation, the other part of Wild B.I.R.D.’s mission is education and outreach about wild bird populations and about bird habitats.
“We’re trying to let the public understand how vital birds are to the environment, “ explains Johnson.
As the largest bird rehabilitation organization in the state, Wild B.I.R.D. is the go-to place for injured or orphaned birds. And as the organization and number of birds they take in has grown, so has their need for a new facility.
The old facility, Johnson says, was small and totally inadequate to accommodate the volume of 3,000 birds annually. Fortunately, they have a piece of land in Wheat Ridge purchased by a donor and board member. Now Wild B.I.R.D. needs to raise the funds to build on it.
The planned new facility will be 2,400 square feet with an open floor plan and ample outdoor space for cages and the larger birds like geese and ducks.
Wild B.I.R.D.’s greatest need right now is raising financial donations for the new building. They had to close down the old facility on September 30, and hope to raise enough funds to be able to open the new building by summer 2015. Between now and then, though, there are few places people can bring injured birds.
“The only option is to try one of the other bird centers in Colorado Springs or in Longmont, or they could try their vet. But, it’s a difficult situation at the moment,” Johnson admits.
Another Reason to Vote for Wild B.I.R.D.
A $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks would help the nonprofit develop a permanent classroom to be used to educate the public, including school kids and volunteers on birds and the environment.
How to Give Wild B.I.R.D. a Hand-Up
- “LIKE” THEM ON FACEBOOK during the November contest (charity nominee with biggest % increase in Facebook followers will receive an extra $500 donation from Citywide Banks)
- VOTE FOR THEM on contest voting page at Citywide Banks Facebook page (charity nominee with most votes will get $5,000 donation from Citywide Banks)
- POST A COMMENT about what you like about Wild B.I.R.D. on the Citywide Banks Facebook page
- SHARE posts about this contest and Wild B.I.R.D. with your family, friends, and coworkers
About the Citywide Banks Charity Hand-Up Contest
For more than 50 years, family owned, Colorado focused Citywide Banks has been a passionate champion of our local charities. Our Charity Hand-Up Contests spotlight seven Colorado causes nominated by bank employees. Then, based on a 16-day community vote on Facebook, Citywide Banks splits $8,000 in donations to the nominees. The charity with the most votes receives the top $5,000 donation. Contest voters can also enter to win great prizes, including dinner for two at a top Denver restaurant. Official prize drawing rules are available by clicking here. Full contest details are at www.CitywideBanks.com/contest/.
How to Cast Your Vote – November 3-17, 2014
The contest is open to the general public within Colorado (non-customers welcome to participate; no purchase necessary). The easiest way to vote is online by clicking the “Charity Contest” tab on the Citywide Banks Facebook page at Facebook.com/citywidebanks. Users will need to “like” the bank’s Facebook page to submit a vote/entry online. One vote/entry per person is permitted during the 16-day contest. After voting on Facebook, users can use the sharing buttons to easily invite their Facebook friends to vote for their favorite charity. There is even an added bonus prize drawing for those voters that post the contest on their own Facebook timeline.