Thursday, May 7, 2009

Project R&R E-Buzz

May/June 2009

Young chimpanzee grooming © M. Nichols

We can do no great things,

only small things with

great love.

- Mother Teresa

Thank you for volunteering!

Your efforts WILL help pass the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326) which was reintroduced this spring and currently has 52 cosponsors. The bill is in the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. This May/June’s eBuzz goal will spread the word and make an impact - if you help. We've got a big country to cover and we're counting on our volunteers to make sure all areas have a voice in our national campaign to END CHIMPANZEE RESEARCH!

May/June Goal

Celebrate our primate family

Family relationships are vital to chimpanzees. Like us, they share strong, often lifetime bonds, and in the wild live in societies of family and friends. They greet one another with hugs and share a range of emotions such as compassion, altruism, grief, and loyalty. They are deeply dependent on their mothers in early years, love to play, and learn skills through observation and practice. Parents are protective and tolerant of their young.

This spring, we ask all of our volunteers nationwide to create a special effort around Mother's Day and Father's Day to educate people in your area about chimpanzees, their plight in research, and the Great Ape Protection Act (H.R. 1326). By building awareness and understanding, we can engage thousands to write to their legislator asking him/her to support the bill. Email us and we will send you our legislative postcards and pins to distribute to family, friends, coworkers, or at community events.

A few ideas to get you started...

  • Mother's Day/Father's Day cards to legislators – a personal way to educate on the bonds that chimpanzees, like us, share with their family and to ask for their support.
  • Picnics and garden parties – bring postcards to have guests sign; email us and we'll also send you vegan chocolates to share with friends as you spread the word!
  • Local walks and marathons – bring the Great Ape Protection Act's message with you: order our 'End Chimpanzee Research' tee shirt to wear proudly and spread the word!

Don’t forget to order our colorful brochures, perfect for passing out at local Memorial Day, Flag Day, or other spring events.

Volunteers in Action

A big “thank you!” this month goes to:

» Laura H. of St. Louis, MO who successfully ran a half marathon to benefit and raise awareness for the Great Ape Protection Act!! Laura raised over $2,800 in sponsorship dollars, a terrific accomplishment. A BIG thank you to Laura and everyone who donated – Laura was inspired even more by all her support!

» Virginia H. of Saugus, MA cranked out our postcards in her community – she got folks to sign them and then stamped, addressed and mailed them out herself! Bravo for making it effortless for folks to get the word out to their legislator.

» Beth L. of Raleigh, NC stepped up and made her voice heard. She and another constituent met with one of the representatives on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, where the bill currently sits. Their outreach was critical in Representative G.K. Butterfield signing on as a cosponsor!

» Kirsten M. of Cannon Beach, OR cooked up excitement for the Great Ape Protection Act when she helped prepare an Earth Day dinner for over 50 people and used it as an opportunity to introduce Project R&R. In addition, she and her husband showed our Project R&R video, distributed literature, and collected signatures for legislator postcards at their Earth Day booth. Kirsten looks forward to doing more community outreach. She shares: “I now carry the book marks and buttons in my purse and give them out to people I run into. I have made a commitment to give at least one away daily. That gets me into a mindset. I have never been great at presenting causes to people but I have forced myself to get over it and have been for the most part pleasantly surprised at how interested people are in helping the chimps get to sanctuary. It is a great feeling to hope that someone will really get excited and get on board.”

» Karen Y. of Montclair, NJ visited Cornell University – the alma mater of several of her family members – and spoke to professors and students there about the Great Ape Protection Act. One student volunteered to collect signatures on legislator postcards, and Karen offered to personally address and mail all student postcards.

» Marlene P. of Stony Point, NY attended a town hall meeting in order to speak to her legislator, Rep. John Hall. She also ensured that he received 100 postcards from constituents.

Finally, a warm thank you to Mrs. Garley and her 5th Grade Class in Sussex, WI, who sent us a very inspiring letter that gave us hope for not only today but for tomorrow’s generation as well. Mrs. Garley wrote:

"Dear Project R&R: Our classroom does an activity throughout the year called "Buck a Book." Students read books of different genres on their own time and record their reading in their logs. For every book each student reads, they ask their parents for a dollar and then turn the dollar in to me. Each time we reach $50, the class votes on what organization they would like to make a donation to. Because animals sometimes are mistreated, our class wanted to make sure this month's donation went to Project R&R. Our class was very excited about supporting your cause!”

We want to showcase YOUR volunteer activities and stories to share ideas with others and keep everyone active and involved.

Please email us and let us know how your outreach is going!

Don't forget: you can order as many Legislator and It's Time postcards as needed! (your donation to help with postage is appreciated)

Keep an eye out for Project R&R eAlerts, which will give you up-to-the-minute information on the Great Ape Protection Act, H.R. 1326, as it happens.

Email us your question(s)

(Please let us know if your volunteer status changes.)

Thank you for all your good work!

- Watch for our next eBuzz in early July -

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