Helping Hands (And Paws)

August 10, 2022
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Zoo Atlanta volunteer and Corso resident, Peggy Rogers is an inspiration to those around her. She enjoys giving back to her community, staying active and engaged wherever she can. Her years of volunteering shine through in her willingness to help her community and in her encouragement of others to do the same.

Peggy started volunteering at Zoo Atlanta in 2011. She explains that most volunteers are there for “wayfinding.” Volunteers offer directions and assistance to guests, but don’t give tours or interpret the animals. Peggy started as a “wayfinder” however, her involvement with Zoo Atlanta grew over the years. Now, Peggy is a docent, which means she has the proper training to educate guests with fun facts and provide them insight into the animals in the zoo.

 

Most days at the zoo, Peggy works in the kitchen to take special care of the animals’ diets, primarily the primates. Zoo Atlanta features 22 gorillas and 12 orangutans, and Peggy keeps herself busy making sure they receive the nutrition they need. For Peggy, her time in the kitchen is an opportunity to learn something new. She works alongside team members and other volunteers, who each have their own insights into animal diets and general information.

We had the opportunity to follow Peggy through the Zoo to see what a day in her shoes would look like. Every other Monday, Peggy is stationed at the red panda exhibit, Jackie. As a docent, she engages with guests and answers questions about the red panda. In as little as four minutes of following Peggy, a group of kids  walked up to her and asked for help. Their smiles were enough to make anybody’s day.

“You go in thinking, okay, I’ll give back,” Peggy says. “But then you end up saying, actually, I’m getting back too”

 

The zoo gives Peggy another sense of purpose and a way to engage with a community that values her effort. Through her time with Zoo Atlanta, Peggy has gained knowledge, camaraderie , and countless memories of joyous  guests and families. Peggy encourages everyone to get involved in volunteering and to take the opportunity to help  out wherever they can.

 

“I would love to see more people find some way to volunteer and give back,” she adds. “Surely, somebody volunteered and helped them along the way somewhere.”

 

 

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