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Thank you so much!

We had an overwhelming amount of applicants for the 2022 Zoo Giraffe project, and have hit our sewing volunteer capacity for the year.

If you’re still interested in volunteering with Henry Vilas Zoo, we would love to have you! Please visit our volunteer page to find out more about how you can get involved throughout the year.

In the meantime, you can also learn a bit more about our current project below. Look out for finished Zoo Giraffes coming this summer for World Giraffe Day!

What is the Zoo Giraffe project?

The HVZ Giraffe Project started in the winter of 2021 as the HVZ Zoo Bear Project as a response to our large collection of unused t-shirts. Rather than throwing the shirts out (many of which had old years or logos on them rendering them unusable) we opted to upcycle them into stuffed bears for conservation!

Twenty five volunteers signed up to pick up a sewing kit complete with pattern, t-shirts, and other sewing materials, and over the course of a month sewed over 200 stuffed bears! HVZ took the finished products and sold them to raise over $3,200 for Polar Bears, International – one of our conservation partners focusing on the study, tracking and conservation of polar bears in the wild.

This year, volunteers will once again donate their time and sewing skills to create Zoo Giraffes – stuffed giraffes made of upcycled shirts that will be sold to raise money for the Giraffe Conservation Foundation for World Giraffe Day in June. Volunteers will pick up their kits in early February, and finished giraffes will be due in early to mid March.