Last month, matches were invited to attend a volunteer event at the Oakland Zoo. Four matches and one Match Support Specialist came out for a morning of service, education, and fun. From introducing tigers to sand, to working behind the scenes for the giraffes, our matches got the opportunity to engage in some exciting teamwork with other matches. It was a fantastic opportunity for Bigs to help their Littles through each task and for Littles to experience a new and exciting activity so close to home.
Among the four matches in attendance, the length of the matches ranged from 3 weeks to five years and came from all over the Bay Area. They exchanged stories about their match history and talked about future plans. For two Littles, zoology was a big interest for them. Two zoo staff members were able to tell them all about their backgrounds working with animals. One staff member started out working at the zoo as an intern in high school while the other staff member fell into her role as a zookeeper after graduating from college. Each of them felt quite fortunate to have so much fun with their jobs combining their love of animals with educating others. The staff informed our matches of opportunities to continue their involvement beyond that weekend. One match enjoyed it so much that they plan to continue to volunteer at the zoo on a monthly basis!
After putting in a couple hours of hard work, the matches were rewarded with the opportunity to feed the giraffes carrots! The zookeeper spent about 30 minutes telling the group all about the giraffes before the matches went off to enjoy the rest of the day exploring the zoo. It was truly an exciting experience.