Monthly Archives: November 2017

Thanksgiving at TCWR

We are Thankful For Our Amazing Supporters

November 20, 2017

Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks for all that we have. Everyone at Turpentine Creek is thankful for our fantastic supporters. We couldn’t do what we do without all of you. We are also thankful for our interns and team members (past and present), their hard work and dedication have made us what we are today, one of the countries best big cat sanctuaries.

The year is not over yet; we still need your help to finish our year off strong and prepare for 2018. On November 28, 2017, the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the country comes together to celebrate #GivingTuesday, the official kickoff of the giving season. This is a day for the world to come together and show their support to their favorite non-profit.

As the year wraps up we reflect on the last year. The last 12 months have been a very rewarding adventure for the team at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. This time last year our team was divided, a portion of the team was caring for animals in Colorado while the rest of us remained in Arkansas to care for the animals here.

Our team is very close, we celebrate together, we mourn together, and of course, we spend holidays together – since our big cats need care every day of the year. We are a family and spend holidays much like a typical family, eating food, trading gifts, and playing games, but last year it was more difficult since we were not all in one location. Now that the Colorado Project has wrapped up in Colorado, we will be able to get back to our normal routine of celebrating the holidays together.

Thank you for all that you have done to help make Turpentine Creek great. We have saved approximately 500 souls since we opened in 1992. Without our supporters that would have been impossible. We are working hard to change the laws and prevent big cats from being victims of the exotic pet trade, but until that happens and all the animals have passed, we will continue to open our hearts and offer refuge to big cats in need.

THANK YOU for all that you do to help the animals that call Turpentine Creek home. From the TCWR family to yours, we wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. We hope you get the chance to spend time with your family – both blood and non-blood – this holiday season.

Safety Improvements

Shelter from the Storms

November 10, 2017

Turpentine Creek is making strides to improve our facility, not just for the animals in our care but also for the humans who live here and spend time on the property. We’ve begun updating our emergency procedures, planning emergency drills, making sustainability plans, scheduling training sessions, installing storm shelters around the property, and making room for storm shelters in our plans for our new Visitor Education Center.

Beyond the storm shelters planned for the Visitor Education Center, we’ve also contracted Eureka Springs Storm Shelters to instal shelters near our team housing and lodging unites. This week two storm shelters were installed down at the team housing area and plans for the installation of lodging storm shelters are in place. Small changes, like new procedures and storm shelters, are making Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge that much safer for our visitors, supporters, and team members.

Each of the storm shelters can hold between 9-12 people as well as some supplies. They are waterproof and meet FEMA and state shelter requirements. The interior of the shelters are 7′ wide, 10′ long and 6’2″ tall. Although our founding family (the Smiths) might have to duck while inside the shelters, most team members should comfortably fit in them.

Our big cats also have secured shelter from storms. Their night houses are made to withstand storms. To make sure our animals’ remain safe we install the metal poles in the ground than pour cement to secure them. Each night house has a secured roof to prevent debris from falling on the animals. They also have heavy cement night houses (made from never used septic tanks) so that they can get out of the rain. Any time a storm is predicted we secure the animals in their night houses for their own safety. That is one reason why each of our habitats has a night house. These small areas provide our animals with secure areas to weather out storms and also allow us to securely separate the animals from our team when we need to clean their habitats.

This upcoming year looks to be an amazing year filled with changes and improvements to our refuge. From sustainability efforts to website improvements, a lot of changes are in the works that will help improve our supporter and visitor experience.


Giving Tuesday 2017

A Day Of Giving

November 3, 2017

Join us on November 28th from 7a-7p for #GivingTuesday. A perfect day to support your favorite non-profits, like Turpentine Creek, and give back to your communities. #GivingTuesday is the kickoff event of the giving season. It is the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

So many organizations, including Facebook and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, are doing their best to make #GivingTuesday the best day to give! On #GivingTuesday Facebook is waving their normal fees for all donations made through Facebook. So, 100% of your donations made on the social media site will come to us! Also, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will be matching up to $2 million of funds raised for US nonprofits through Facebook’s charitable giving tools!

Even if you can’t give as much as you wish you could (we all would love to give a million dollars to our favorite charity, but most of us don’t have that much to give), there are ways you can still help. #MyGivingStory is a contest that is running from now until #GivingTuesdday where supporters can submit their giving story. 20 winners of the #MyGivingStory contest will get between $500 and $10,000 to give to their favorite charity! Click here to submit your #MyGivingStory.

This year we’ve set some big goals that we need your help with! We are in need of some equipment to help us build our bear habitats (and MANY future habitats). These tools will help us build bigger and better habitats for our animals.

We are raising money for:

  1. A Bobcat Trencher Attachment – $5,900
  2. A Bobcat Auger Attachment – $2,500
  3. A Stihl Concrete Saw – $1,000
  4. A Stihl XL Saw – $750
  5. 4 Stihl Professional Weedeaters ($350 each) – $1,400

Each piece of this equipment will make it easier for us to build and maintain larger habitats. As we tackle larger habitat builds we are finding that we need different equipment to help us build them right in a timely manner.

With your help, we can raise the funds to get this equipment and continue working on expanding our refuge. We have over 450 acres of property at and this point we are only using a little over 100. We have a lot of room to grow as it is needed.

We are also planning some online activities on #GivingTuesday. We hope to offer a few contests throughout the day on our Facebook Page to win small prizes. We also plan to give away prizes as we reach each of our individual goals as we progress towards our full goal of $11,550.

Donating isn’t the only way to help support Turpentine Creek on #GivingTuesday. You can also show your support of our #GivingTuesday campaign by adding our Facebook Frame to your Facebook profile picture, share our posts about #GivingTuesday, and talking to your friends about supporting Turpentine Creek on #GivingTuesday. So, visit our Facebook Page from now until #GivingTuesday to donate, participate in activities, and share our mission. With your help, we can reach our goals and put the fun in fundraising!