Call this a letter to Santa Claus or just a crass reminder that end-of-year
tax advantages may be gained by making contributions to charitable
Whatever the motivation, Mary Lou Wooters, the whirlwind behind Second
Chance Wildlife Center in Grantville, would be grateful for any of the
items on this wish list.
Many items on it may be languishing in closets, carports, or dealerships,
ready for their own second chance at usefulness - with the added perks of
tax benefits, plus found space in the storeroom.
" Four-wheel drive utility vehicle
" Golf cart(s)
" Copy machine, copy paper
" Computer components
" Other office equipment
" A Web page and Webmaster
" Design and printing of a colorful brochure
" Corporate sponsorships and grants
" And always: canned cat and dog food, paper towels, laundry detergent,
dish-washing liquid, household bleach, medicines and disinfectants
Wooters explains: "We lost our John Deere Gator," (a tough and super-useful
utility vehicle with a truck bed in the back.) Not having it "has added two
hours to our feeding time - we're carrying feed by hand. The [Gator's]
engine seized up; it was 9 years old when we bought it. A new one's
A golf cart fitted with a platform on the back would be almost as helpful,
Wooters said. Her property is large enough that hauling feed from storage
bins to hungry animals is a long-distance and never-ending operation.
Golf carts would also help haul human beings around, she added. Uneven
ground makes walking from parked cars to the animal pens is somewhat
strenuous for the elderly or for people with disabilities.
A freezer? You bet. Frozen food sometimes becomes available, as when
hunters clean out their home freezers to make room for this year's kill,
Wooters said, and grateful as she is for any donations of food, storage can
be a problem.
Office equipment and paper are always necessities, but especially in an
operation that depends for its existence upon ready communication. A
computer expert is working on upgrading an obsolete computer to a more
capable machine Wooters can use to expedite publicity and make her needs
known. Any donation of hardware would be helpful, but a reliable printer
and fast modem would be especially helpful.
Which leads to the next item on the list: a person with computer expertise
willing to design and maintain a Web page for Second Chance. Electronic
communication would expand almost infinitely Wooters' contacts with persons
or companies willing to help her animals.
On-going financial assistance (read corporate grants) would enable Wooters
to employ a full-time assistant. At present, neither she nor the volunteers
who help her earn a cent from Second Chance - in fact, Wooters works at
Charlie Horse Steakhouse in Sharpsburg just to pay the bills.
And the need for food and cleaning products? Just take what any ordinary
household needs and multiply by at least 150, the number of residents at
Second Chance. "Especially when we have young animals, like fawns, we go
through 15 sheets a day," Wooters said, explaining the need for detergents
She gives credit to her employer, Charlie Horse Steakhouse, for donating
food, and to Publix in Peachtree City who "gives us produce once a week -
we go through a lot of fruit," she says. She also expressed her
appreciation for the discounted and donated services of veterinarians Ray
Rudd in Peachtree City and Wayne Morris of Newnan.
Most of the funds Wooters receives come from donations of the individuals
and groups that tour Second Chance. Wooters succeeded in achieving
non-profit status last year, she said, which allows contributions to be
written off as tax-deductible.
For further information, or to contribute to Second Chance Wildlife Center,
call Wooters at 770-583-3903. Chances are you'll get an answering machine,
but someone will get back to you - as soon as the animals have been fed and