Help from Afar

Here at CHCI there are so many things we need but can’t always afford.  Last fall Lindsay Zager, one of our brilliant graduate students, came up with an idea to make an Amazon wish list for CHCI.  We figured, what could it hurt?  So we created one.  We added items we often need and items we longed for.  It didn’t take long for the gifts to start arriving!  We were thrilled!
The first things to arrive were from Barbara Stone and Jennifer Liddell.  Between them they purchased raisins, dried fruit, mixed nuts, and Method floor cleaner.  We were so excited!  The chimpanzees LOVE dried fruit and nuts.  We serve them as treats, or if we are low on fresh fruit, we serve them in their place.  Believe it or not, the floor cleaner was also very exciting.  It doesn’t take much to make us happy around here.  Every night we mop the kitchen floor that has been accumulating food and grime all day.  Mopping helps the kitchen stay tidy and also helps keep ants away.   Method floor cleaner is our favorite cleaner so we are very grateful for that purchase.  Thank you Barbara and Jennifer!
Michele Slack sent us dried figs, duct tape (black of course!), glue sticks, and plastic forks.  The dried figs are a hit with the chimpanzees and also come in handy when we are low on fresh fruit.  The duct tape and glue sticks are used for enrichment projects such as picture collages or taping treats to the wall in high places for the chimpanzees to forage for.  Why plastic forks you may ask?  We like to treat out interns and docents to cakes, fruit, and other snacks as a thank you for all their help and we are often short on forks.  Thank you Michele for helping us treat our interns and helping us enrich the chimpanzees’ lives!
Melissa Carter also sent glue sticks (there can never be too many, after all) along with a cutting board and rubber spatulas.  If you could see our kitchen supplies you would understand how grateful we are for these purchases.  Many of them date back from before I started working here (9 years ago) and probably back to when the building was first built (17 years ago).  Our old rubber spatula was held together with tape–needless to say, we appreciate the new one. Our cutting boards were, stained, full of grooves, and well used.  A new fresh one was, well, refreshing.  Thank you Melissa!
Linda Tam was very generous with her gift of a cordless drill. A cordless drill was one of the first items we put on the list.  It was something we always wanted and something I really hoped we would get.  The days of lugging out the long, cumbersome extension cord and then trying to string it into the playrooms without getting it within reach of the chimpanzees or laying it in a puddle of water are over.  We just simply pick up the drill, carry it in, and fix boards on the climbing structures!  Fixing things around here is much easier and safer now.  Thank you so much Linda!
Do you want to see a gaggle of interns get really excited?   Just send new squeegees!  We don’t know who did (there was no name included), but thank you!  After we clean an enclosure we squeegee it dry.  There is something very satisfying about being able to thoroughly squeegee a room and good squeegees are essential to this task.   Thank you to the person who sent the squeegees, it made a lot of interns very happy!
Other mystery gifts include Clorox wipes, white board markers, and gummy vitamins.  We go through wipes very fast: cleaning counters, keyboards, appliances, and much, much more. You name it we wipe it.  We use white board markers for meetings, for scheduling, and to write messages to the interns.  A variety of colors means we can be creative in our notes and make sure people are seeing the messages.  We were very happy to receive an assortment of colors to use.  The chimpanzees get vitamins every morning; Two per chimpanzee per day.  That’s 6 per day, 42 per week, and about 90 per month.  That’s a lot of vitamins; needless to say, we go through vitamins quickly and can always use more.  A very big thank you to whoever sent these gifts!
Thank you to everyone that has sent gifts, we have appreciated every one.  If you are interested in checking out our wishlist please visit 
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