Press release from Appalachian Wildlife Refuge:
As the result of a social media post that went viral on Facebook in March of 2017, a new program sprang to life which repurposed used mascara wands in wildlife rehabilitation efforts. Appalachian Wildlife Refuge managed the program, Wands for Wildlife, as it grew to have a global reach, beyond the scope and mission to serve wildlife in Western North Carolina. Wands for Wildlife is slated to launch as a separate entity and nonprofit on August 1, 2020.
The original post was put up by Executive Director and Cofounder of Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, Savannah Trantham. She shares that, “The timing of my social media post and the attention it gained couldn’t have been more perfect with the growth of Appalachian Wild. This program helped to support our newly renovated wildlife care facility from the beginning as well as bring attention and awareness to wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation all over the world. We have been able to connect with people that may have not ever had a reason to get involved with wildlife and now they are helping make a difference. Appalachian Wild is thrilled that this program has grown to the extent that it has and will continue to bring awareness for wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation on a much larger scale.”
Co-founder of Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, Kimberly Brewster, has been spearheading the Wands for Wildlife program from the beginning. Brewster shares, “It has been an incredible ride that just keeps going while inspiring and engaging people of all ages around the world!” Brewster and a team of volunteers have taken on the adventure, and hard work, to transition the program into a separate nonprofit organization. The new organization will continue to accept used mascara wands twice a year in April and October. The wands are shared with wildlife rehabilitators around the world along with best practices for their use. The new organization will also expand the Wand Art program and grow awareness through education offerings.
The two organizations will continue to partner in the work of helping injured and orphaned wild animals; Appalachian Wild with the hands-on care and Wands for Wildlife providing support while connecting communities with sustainable practices and wildlife rehabilitation efforts around the world.