Covid-19 lockdown began for us on March 20th (1st day of Spring). I padlocked the door to our Key West Parrot Rescue. This closure remains in effect. The birds and I are in isolation. We are in a sanctuary for rehomed, abandoned and abused parrots known as Nancy Forrester's Secret Garden. Our flock has been 100% supported by our admission fee which is generated by tourism. We have lost more than two months of precious gate revenue and to keep afloat during this time I have spent our winter savings put aside for emergencies. Because of Covid-19 I am at risk of losing everything I have worked for concerning parrot welfare for over 35 years. Our parrots are in jeopardy. PLEASE DONATE TO INSURE OUR FUTURE
To continue to provide caregiving to our parrots I need fresh produce and dried food items, bird supplies, cleaning supplies, toys for enrichment (especially now because my attention is forced elsewhere and it breaks my heart that they are not getting enough interaction from me and others). Feather plucking has increased. Toys help stop feather destruction. I need funds to pay the utility bills for cooling and filtration, electricity, water, sewer, waste management, phone, internet, licenses, equipment, business insurance, auto upkeep, gas and we need two nest eggs, one for the possibility of vet bills (we have no birds with health issues at this time but we have a lot of older parrots) and one for hurricane evacuation, god forbid. Hurricane season starts June 1st. Evacuation for two people and all the parrots cost $1,000 for Hurricane Irma. Predictions are calling for an active season! I need payroll for a part-time employee-trainee at $10 per hour to start. I do not have help now and desperately need someone reliable. I have been doing 99.9% of the work here by myself for two months with no end in sight. It is complex and labor intensive. I am elderly.
Normally at this time of year I earn about $3,800 per month at the gate which covers the monthly expenses. I am asking for funds to cover a six month period. All donations will go to pay the necessities described above.
All our volunteers are at home sheltered in place and my one and only long time employee of 15 years is hospitalized and probably will not be able to work here again. At times, I am beyond burn out but I am not one to quit. I love these amazing animals. I am passionate about providing them with the best care possible. I am determined not to allow fear, stress, depression, and hopelessness to overtake me. I give each day all the strength I have. PLEASE DONATE
FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW ME
I live a modest lifestyle. Two thirds of the interior space in my home and all of my backyard houses the parrots. I am a very hard worker and some think I am a "do-it-yourselfer" to a fault. I am proud of the fact that under normal times my everyday hard work earns enough money to support this Sanctuary. I specialize in education. I focus on large macaws. We have a flock of rescued educational ambassadors who have helped me teach an in depth Parrot 101 to a wide range of people 365 days a year. My visitors are parrot lovers, the curious of all ages, teachers and students. The flock travels off property to schools, libraries, various congregations and botanical gardens for educational purposes.
These parrots are a valuable educational asset to our community and the visiting public. I have always taught in person, face to face, up close and personal. I have taught Parrot 101 because I am dedicated to stopping parrot abuse both captive and wild. I strive to exemplify the best practices in all aspects of parrot caregiving. My topics include nutrition, foraging, socialization, playing and training. I demonstrate the benefits of target training to those who are interested. PLEASE DONATE
I AM HOPEFUL BUT THE FUTURE IS NOT CERTAIN
I think it will be a long time before state, out of state and international tourists feel comfortable and it is safe to return. Normally our summer trade brings us lots of traveling American and European families. I doubt if we will see many.
I am counting on your donations for our future. At this time Monroe County has a road block on US1 to keep out people who do not live here. The Florida Keys are just beginning to open businesses slowly to our residents only. When the roadblock lifts, I will reopen under new guidelines. Masks, social distancing, handwashing and disinfecting surfaces will be a must. Education will be self-guided. People will be asked to not touch the birds or cages and refrain from touching all surfaces except the handrails. Admission and donations will be accepted by cash, checks or smart phone cqcodes only. I will not be handling credit cards. If only two people visit per day, I will be grateful!
WHAT I PLAN TO DO TO CREATE FUTURE INCOME
Your financial support will result in less stress on me and more time to create income for our parrots.
I plan to develop e-commerce to bring in revenue I look forward to creating a series of fun fact filled 30 to 40 minute educational videos to sell on line thru Vimeo. These videos will be composed of my photos, videos, text and voice overs. Each one will highlight an individual parrot who lives here at the sanctuary, describing how fascinating, intelligent, unique and funny that bird is. I will market them as a family activity, a must for animal lovers, bird lovers, parrot lovers, the curious, kids who are home schooled, teachers, and libraries. In the evenings, I have been working on the first video. It is called "Larrybird" The Parrot. I will also add a Sponsor a Parrot Program to our website to create more revenue. When, our county reopens for business, volunteers will be invited to return. I will re-configure the garden with safety guidelines so visitors can return as spectators to see the parrots and read the already existing and newly added educational material.
PLEASE DONATE, SHARE, SEND A SUPPORTIVE MESSAGE, AND ASK QUESTIONS!
Every single donation big or small will assist us in taking care of our parrots through these next difficult months.
FOLLOW our pages on Facebook
VISIT OUR WEBSITE For updates visit our new website called
https://www.keywestparrots.com I will create a food needed page ASAP
PLEASE do not send parrot food listed on OBSOLETE website called nancyforrester.com. That site needs revision!
THANK YOU FOR READING THIS
I will keep sharing our parrots stories and let you know how we are doing
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