To the Editor:
At Oaken Acres Wildlife Center, we recently had a situation with a person who rescued a wild orphan, and we were unable to contact her within a couple of hours.
A couple of hours! Oaken Acres prides itself on returning every phone message in a timely manner. No matter that at this time of year we get up overnight, every night, to feed very young orphans that would die without us.
Or that we have other obligations, such as educational programs that we do for the public at many events. This person felt it was inexcusable for her to have to wait a couple of hours for a call back, so decided to leave a very rude voicemail for our staff and said multiple times that we at Oaken Acres just don't care.
Soon, we will be taking care of nearly 700 orphaned or injured wild patients. While we know that “your” wild patient is very important to you, it may just not be possible for us to drop everything to answer the phone or return a message immediately. We’re not alone in this.
Many charitable organizations cannot afford to have someone who only answers the phone. Shoestring budgets do not mean a lack of care or caring. But staff time needs to be allocated strategically. Most times, we’re pedaling as fast as we can, so please don’t take out your frustration on someone who is there to help you.
On May 4, the DeKalb County Community Foundation again will sponsor a 24-hour online giving day for DeKalb County charities. There are dozens of worthwhile causes that will benefit from your contribution.
Every one of them will be very grateful if you take the time to participate on that day and say "thank you" to all these people who are working for charitable causes that fill community needs. And please, don’t ever tell them that they don’t care.