95 Adopted Communities Global Initiative: World Bird Sanctuary, MO
SSIO members of the Mid-Central Region have adopted the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, Missouri as their "95 Adopted Communities”1. The mission of the sanctuary is to preserve the earth’s biological diversity and save threatened bird species through education, propagation, field studies and rehabilitation.It is one of the few avian facilities which provides refuge to eagles that are permanently injured and cannot be released back to the wild, including our National Bird, the bald eagle.
The bald eagle is a sacred bird and its feathers are central to spiritual customs of Native Americans. Eagles are also seen to be the spiritual messengers between God and man.
SSIO members have enthusiastically and lovingly served at the Sanctuary twice a month, weather permitting. They work around the grounds and also donate much needed supplies since the bird sanctuary receives no state or federal funding.
Collecting supplies for the Bird Sanctuary was the Regional Service Project during the 2019 Annual Retreat. Present at the retreat was the Bird Sanctuary’s Facilities Coordinator, who conducted an interactive educational session. He also led the retreat attendees in a “Walk for Birds” and pointed out various species of birds around the retreat venue, identifying them by their call. The participants also learned how birds have a positive impact on the environment. They carried signs of the 5 Human Values and informative posters on the birds and how to promote their welfare. At the end of the walk, SSIO members presented the Facilities Coordinator with much-needed supplies for the well-being of the birds.
The "95 Adopted Communities" project has been inspirational for SSIO members who love interaction with nature and the opportunity to serve the environment. They feel they have developed a new found sensitivity to the needs of the animal kingdom – their food, habitat, protection, medical care and survival during the challenges of old age. The Sanctuary Facilities Coordinator, in turn, has expressed his appreciation for the SSIO members for completing the task efficiently and with such loving energy and cheerful enthusiasm.
Members have stated that they experience joy in service of God’s creatures, and they look forward to caring and learning from the birds. By learning to honor and respect the eagle, they feel they might hear the message from all mighty God through these brave and beautiful creatures that soar through the sky.
1 For more information on the Global Adoption of 95 Communities, please see http://www.sathyasai.org/95communities