To highlight various examples of volunteerism and how quickly volunteers can spring into action, we present one inspirational story from last year: in the face of the BP oil disaster, volunteers showed flexibility and mobilized immediately.
New Orleans resident, Rusti Liner, was one of the tens of thousands of volunteers that signed up to aid in picking up the worst oil spill in US history last year. Rusti was part of a team organized by The National Audubon Society, which assisted in the cleanup of the Deep Horizon oil disaster that devastated the Gulf Coast.
She was tasked with assisting in the transport of non-oiled and injured birds from the coast to a rehabilitation center. As a result of Rusti and the other volunteers, hundreds of birds and other wildlife were given a second chance at life.
The National Audubon Society was massively important to the preservation and rehabilitation of thousands of birds and other wildlife after the BP oil spill. Sean Saville, the National Field Director for Audubon, attributed his team’s success to his volunteers, saying, “We have been so fortunate to have so many passionate and dedicated volunteers working with us in the Gulf and across the country, it has truly been an inspiring experience.”
Saville said Rusti “jumped at the opportunity (to volunteer), not even considering for a minute the time commitment required and her own personal expense. She assisted in this capacity for weeks, responding to every request that we made of her on behalf of the official wildlife response, and often this task required hours, up to nine per round-trip, of her time and not to mention the gas money. She gave of herself so selflessly and without asking questions that it was almost unbelievable.”
The BP oil spill was a huge disaster that will take decades to recover from, but Saville believes “it really inspired amazing volunteers to do anything they could to help, and that was a truly inspirational experience to be a part of and witness first hand.”