Looking Back, Moving Forward

2022 Board of Directors – Rachel Avilla, Devin Dombrowski, Marie Travers, Doris Duncan and not in photo, Sonia Lunacek

It is difficult to find the words to express the awe and love we have for our wonderful community. When Devin and I started this little project just over 10 years ago, we really had no idea where it would take us. The people we have met, the organizations we have visited and the partnerships we have created are precious to us. With over 1,200 accounts and 2,734,486 patients, we are truly blown away by how much this community has grown.

The Wild Neighbors Database Project has reached a critical turning point as a non-profit organization. We are growing fast to help support the needs of our users. In 2023 we will be hiring three new part-time people to help support The Wild Neighbors Database project and WRMD users; a software engineer, a development and communication coordinator and a customer support and data specialist. These additions will increase our overhead significantly which is why we are reaching out to our community for support.

That’s why we are going to extend our fundraising campaign and push for another $4000 this week!

We are eternally grateful to all of you who have already donated to this year’s campaign. Thank you, thank you, thank you and virtual hugs all around! While we understand that some do not have the resources to make a large donation we humbly remind you that every little bit counts: $5 or $10 is a wonderful contribution if that is what you can afford.

Your donation will help support several amazing projects we have lined up for 2023. We have been working hard on WRMD 4.0, which will incorporate many of the features that people have been wishing for over the past few years. We are updating OWRMD (O for Oiled) for The Oiled Wildlife Care Network at UC Davis, and we are releasing The Oil Spill Extension, which will be available to any account for a fee. We are also diving into the world of marine mammals and sea turtles so that WRMD includes the necessary fields and reports for NOAA species. We are continuing to develop and expand our WildAlert System (previously known as Wildlife Morbidity and Mortality Event Alert System) which uses aggregate data from participating WRMD accounts to identify potential wildlife health events in near real time. As you can see, we’re having a massive growth spurt!

On top of all of that, we will be speaking at the FWRA (Florida Wildlife Rehabilitators Associations) symposium and the NWRA (National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association) symposium and will have a booth at the NWRA symposium. Please come find us and say hi if you’re also there, we would love to meet you!

Again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your support over the last ten years, and for your continued support helping WRMD become even more awesome. We appreciate and love you all. We hope 2023 is a year of growth and positivity for all!

Warmest Wishes in the New Year,

Rachel Avilla and the entire Wild Neighbors Team

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