October 2012

Cleo;Dear Friend of Sweetbriar:

We are all born with an innate connection to the natural world. Yet many kids today do not know the experiences of waking up to a chorus of birds. They do not know the experience of watching fireflies coming out at dusk. More over, many young people are often not in touch with who they themselves truly are.

As I reflect on the many gratifying experiences I have had in my 13 years working at Sweetbriar, one conversation stands out in particular. A young volunteer said to me, “Do you know that Sweetbriar saves kids?” I said “What do you mean?” he said: “Before I started volunteering here I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I felt so lost and alone. Sweetbriar made it clear that my passion is to work with animals.”  John held true to his words. He is now attending his first year at Cornell Veterinary College. John and numerous other young adults participated in one of our five unique internship programs. These programs give students the opportunitiy to see a path that may be invisible to the eye.  It is often said: tell me and I might forget, show me and I might remember, involve me and I’ll understand.” I see transformational experiences like this one happen, quite literally, countless times each year.

I invite you to imagine the sounds of young people experiencing the natural world at Sweetbriar: becoming connected to nature, to one another, to themselves, and to their futures!

Please remember us during this season of giving. Your generosity has brought us such a great distance. We are stronger because of your support; we are looking to our future and the future of our dedicated volunteers and interns with big dreams. Your help plays a big part in our ability to make a difference in their lives.

Please consider donating to the 2012 appeal on our behalf. Your generosity is what allows us to continue the worthwhile work that has touched the lives of so many.

To do so, please fill out and return the enclosed Annual Giving envelope, along with your contribution. No amount is too small to be helpful, and every cent will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you on behalf of everyone here at Sweetbriar Nature Center.


Janine Bendicksen

“The wildlife at Sweetbriar along with the exhibits throughout
 the Center inspired my curiosity for learning about nature,
 science and conservation, instilling a lifelong respect for wildlife” Amy

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