Publications: Project R&R News

Holiday blanket drive for Elders

November 30, 2006 • Posted in Project R&R News

Help us blanket the Elders in warmth and comfort this holiday season. Your monetary donation will help us purchase and send fleece blankets for night nests to the three labs holding the Elder chimpanzees as well as to sanctuaries with other chimpanzees.

Night nests are a source of comfort and daily ritual for chimpanzees in the wild. Project R&R is committed to making sure that chimpanzees in captivity are provided with the nesting materials they need and love, including blankets (always a favorite), shredded paper, and natural materials like straw and soft branches.

Thank you to our members who have already supported this important project. If you are thinking about helping, below are some frequently asked questions about our blanket and enrichment drives.

Jaybee at Save the Chimps

Donna Rae at Fauna

[Jaybee at Save the Chimps and Donna Rae at Fauna]

Q: Can we send our clean used blankets to you to send to the labs, sanctuaries and facilities that house chimpanzees?
A: Though we very much appreciate this, used blankets are not collected or encouraged for this use. Blankets have to be a certain weight, knit, and size, as well as have no embellishments nor be easily shredded etc. to ensure a chimpanzee’s safety. There are also health and other husbandry considerations in our choice of fabric. We have made arrangements with one of the top fleece producers in the U.S. to supply us with the perfect materials at a discounted cost. Once cut, these fresh new blankets are then sealed and secured for shipping, which is vitally important to ensure integrity of the contents. They are exceptionally warm for their weight, easily washed and dried, and in general have strong advantages over other materials for this use.

Q: Can I purchase new fleece blankets and send them to your organization to be forwarded to the labs, sanctuaries, and facilities?
A: As noted above, we are working with a local fleece retailer who provides us with top quality material at wholesale cost. Since it is local, there are no shipping costs. If you buy and ship to us you are adding unnecessary shipping expenses to your donation. Your direct monetary donation to this campaign is the most efficient way to help—and our system ensures every dollar counts!

Q: My child would like to have a blanket drive to help the chimpanzees. Any suggestions?
A: As in our other answers, sending actual blankets is not encouraged. Rather, if your child wants to sponsor a typical school or community fund raiser like a bake sale, car wash, etc, this is most welcomed. Proceeds sent to our campaign will assure that your child feels like a part of this special project. We make a T-shirt and pin available free to wear for their “event.” Finally, when a donation comes from a child’s fund raising project, we send them a special thank you photo of a beloved sanctuary chimpanzee enjoying the comfort of his or her blankets.

Q: How do we know the laboratories will accept the blankets?
A: Though we cannot guarantee they will accept or distribute them to the chimpanzees, we do try to make that as likely as possible. We give them specific information on security precautions we took in preparing and packing the blankets and send a letter in advance informing them of the pending shipment with specific details about the blankets. But, if all that fails, every secured box of blankets we send includes mailing labels of chimpanzee sanctuaries so that they can forward them on if they choose to not benefit their own chimpanzees with the gift. We monitor their responses.

Q: When do you ship the blankets?
A: Blankets go out the middle of December. Your donation goes to our blankets and also to other enrichment drives that happen throughout the year. Please check our website often for the latest news on these drives including for example Spring baskets, special treat enrichment cups, toys and other items to help make the chimpanzees’ lives a little better.

For more information, please contact us.

Thank you!

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