What started out as a good neighbor deed, now is a Outreach Program for The Tennessee Valley Exotic Bird Club, located in Knoxville TN.
Barny, a Blue-front Amazon, Sydney, a Umbrella Cockatoo, and Cockatiels, Buddy and Peepers [All rescue birds] had been alternately accompanying me on a weekly visit to an 85 year old nursing home resident.
At a club meeting, I spoke on what my birds and I were doing, and some club members suggested we incorporate in into a outreach program. Since one of the founding club members, Gary Reid had been doing programs with schools and organizations, we gathered his expertise and other club members willing to volunteer their time we decided to combine and expand the visits, which included, a Seniors Assisted Living Center, and a Singles Ministry, both of Knoxville TN. and The Maryville Housing Authority's, Parkside Housing and Broadway Towers Housing in Maryville TN. The smallest group we visited was 15,the largest 34, ages included from 6 to 90+.
The program for these visits was oriented to educate participants on how to choose a bird, basic pet care, nutrition and shelters training and keeping them healthy and happy. A question and answer session followed, which allowed for social interaction between participants and birds, to the extent of allowing some handling of our docile pets.
All, including the assortment of birds that included, Scarlet and Blue and Gold Macaws, Cockatoos, Amazons, a Meyers Parrot, Cockatiels,Parakeets, and a Parrotlet, enjoyed these educational, entertaining and joyful visits. The laughter,and the joy of this outreach activity was and has not been forgotten by any, including the participants, who received many wonderful smiles and heartfelt 'Thank You's'.