By Brooke Chavez I’m often asked the same question at the sanctuary: “How can I get more involved at Primarily Primates?” The answer is that there are so many ways in which you can get more involved, and I promise it will be life-changing and rewarding. Here’s how: FINANCIAL SUPPORT: Many people assume we receive funding from the state and federal government, but this is simply not the case. We rely on private donations from caring individuals to help with everything from medical care to food and supplies to help our sanctuary thrive. One-time donations are always welcome, or sustaining monthly gifts can be tailored to fit any budget. Tributes may also be given in someone else’s name - to their memory, for a birthday, or any special occasion you choose like because it’s Tuesday! FUNDRAISING: Our fundraising committee enables us to generate the much-needed income we need to provide the animals the care they deserve. Medical and veterinary expenses, nutritional needs, sanctuary upkeep, remodeling and repairs are examples of the numerous categories of costs associated with a running a sanctuary. If you are interested in helping us plan and carry out some of our fundraising efforts for 2018-2019, we would welcome the help. VOLUNTEERING AT THE SANCTUARY: Adults 18 years of age and older are welcome to volunteer at the sanctuary itself. Our volunteers assist our staff with the daily care of the animals and sanctuary by preparing food, cleaning habitats or providing enrichment. There are countless types of enrichment that give the animals exercise and a psychologically stimulating environment, but generally at PPI we focus on auditory, taste, touch and visual enrichment. If manual labor and getting muddy isn’t your favorite thing, you can still volunteer by helping with clerical work. SPECIAL PROJECTS/SKILLED LABOR: The sanctuary is always under some type of construction, with repairs to be made, new habitats to be built or modified, and enrichment built. Currently we are reconstructing two habitats for the lemurs and building additional green spaces for our smaller primates. If you would like to dedicate your skill to assist the animals at the sanctuary, we are especially in need of the following skilled labor for this spring and summer: painters, concrete specialists, welders, carpenters and tree-trimmers. ANIMAL SPONSORSHIP: There are numerous sponsorship opportunities at the sanctuary, which has 224 primates (and many non-primate animals also). Less than half of the animals have a sponsor. Your sponsorship would help provide an animal with shelter, medical care and nutritional needs. And as a sponsor you also become a big part of the animal’s life by having the opportunity to volunteer throughout the year and provide nutritional treats as well. FOOD DONATIONS: With 350 animals to care for, we go through a lot of food every day. You can donate a fruit party on our website or buy the following items online. Cereal Dried fruit and unsalted nuts and seeds Jelly Corn tortillas Applesauce Gatorade powder Unsweetened peanut butter You can also help pick up donated items from our grocery store sponsors or discarded produce if you own a truck. (Donation pick-up hours are between 9am -12pm.) Please don’t let another year go by without getting involved. We need you. Please call our office at 830.755.4616 for more information.   Brooke Chavez, a zoologist, is executive director of Primarily Primates. She began her career with the sanctuary in 2013 and focuses on the care and well-being of the 350+ rescued animals who call Primarily Primates home.