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       What Can I Do - Volunteering

Volunteering at Pacific Primate Sanctuary
  (for full time Maui residents)

Pacific Primate Sanctuary is a federally authorized, nonprofit, wildlife conservation organization, run entirely by volunteers. Thank you so much for your interest in helping us care for the animals and their home!

Since 1984, the Sanctuary has rescued distressed and endangered monkeys. We provide a safe haven for very small, tree dwelling New World primates rescued from laboratories, the pet trade, and tourist attractions. They are housed socially, in naturalistic habitats and are not on exhibit. We care for them unobtrusively, with the minimum amount of human contact since that is in their best interest if they are ever to return to their native forests.

The monkeys depend upon the support of volunteers and financial contributions from the public for their daily survival. Experienced Sanctuary staff train new animal caregiver volunteers until they are able to independently take over an AM Shift (7:00 AM to 1:00 PM) and/or a PM Shift (3:00PM to 6:00 PM).  The training period is at least 12 sessions and involves an expenditure of staff members’ time and energy.  We request animal care trainees make a one year commitment to volunteering one or more shifts each week. Let us know which days and times will work well with your weekly schedule.

Please click this link for a fillable Volunteer Application. Save the application to your computer, fill it out indicating any special skills you have, then save again once it is complete. Please submit the completed application via Email: pps@aloha.net. Thank you for offering your skills, and your love for the animals with whom we share this Earth. We look forward to hearing from you and having you join us in this life saving work.

Please Note: Pacific Primate Sanctuary is not open for public visitation. Once your application has been processed, and you have been accepted as a Volunteer, we will schedule a time for you to come to the Sanctuary.

Me Ke Aloha No Na Holoholona,  (With Love For The Animals),

The Pacific Primate Sanctuary Team

Circle of Compassion

PPS Collage

"Doing good" can be good for you, too. Psychologist Erwin Stamb at the University of Massachusetts has studied thousands of volunteers. He has noticed how they get a "Helpers High", a warm feeling similar to a Runner's High. Every day there's more and more evidence that says you do feel good when you do positive things." -Less Stress Handbook

"Albert Einstein said: "A human being is part of the whole that we call the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest- a kind of optical illusion of his consciousness. This illusion is a prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for only the few people nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living beings and all of nature."

Our culture teaches "What's in it for me?" Limiting our ability to act from our hearts and souls to fix the problems and heal the pain we see. Yet, miraculously, there are people who want to serve, to give, who feel the connection to others and respond.

There are now over 15 volunteers who embrace the beings at Pacific Primate Sanctuary in a great "circle of compassion". They're "average" people, with problems and responsibilities and burdens. Yet glimpsing the hearts behind their work, their spirits and consciousness seem to have expanded beyond the tight concerns of everyday life and touched Creation itself with their love and their light.

One volunteer said, "These are simple things-cutting up fruit, mopping, but I do everything as if I'm healing the World." It is a blessing to be part of such a family. Speaking for the primates in our care, we say a profound THANK YOU to the volunteers and to our extended family of supporters, and to this great Earth for sustaining us. May we all come to understand that only in giving do we really receive; and only in service do we become truly free."

Why I Volunteer

pps volunteer

I have waited my whole life to have a chance to volunteer and do something good with my life. The Pacific Primate Sanctuary was in my heart from the very first day over 15 years ago when I first heard of their mission. I finally got my chance to have my dream come true of taking a year and making a difference. These precious primates deserve to live their remaining life in peace and in an environment that provides them with love, caring and the respect they have been waiting for so long to receive. For all the pain and suffering that my fellow human primates have caused to these precious animals I feel very grateful for being able to have this once in a life time experience!"

What a wonderful privilege to have spent time as a Pacific Primate Sanctuary volunteer…Each monkey has left an impression on my heart and together have taught me to take more care with this world…The Sanctuary is an amazing place full of love and light.

PPS Volunteer

I could have no idea then how much I would learn and gain from my time at Pacific Primate Sanctuary, and how the experience would profoundly effect me… Giving unconditionally to the care of these wonderful beings has manifested countless rewards and has encouraged me to constantly challenge myself to be a better human. I am forever thankful for the time I shared with each and every one of the primates in our care and the primate caregivers. My time at the Sanctuary has made me rich with unforgettable experiences, encounters, and friendships. Working alongside a team of compassionate and dedicated volunteers has been an ongoing gift and I am forever thankful to the many individuals who have been an important part of my life here. … Mahalo monkeys for teaching me to examine my own species with the fascination and concern with which I explore yours. Thank you for showing me the importance of partners and families and the interactions that are the glue of life. Thank you for "being" when others have unduly challenged your most innate right to just— be.

We are very privileged to have an opportunity to be in the presence of these animals and I thank you for all you do for them and for allowing me to help in what ever way I can. If we all did a little bit to make sure every creature on Earth is cared for, fed, and sheltered… we would live in a far different society, with minimal effort. We only need to change our perceptions to return this world back to its original beauty and live in harmony with our Mother Earth and other creatures. We humans are the ones out of balance.

I have always loved animals, but I never once dreamed that there was a place somewhere, hidden away in the green jungle of our lovely island, where I would become a part of something as wonderful and life changing as the Pacific Primate Sanctuary … I wish more people would see what I have seen, feel what I have felt. I want people to know that monkeys – that all creatures – are deeper and more complex than most people think they are. Beyond learning about these rare, exotic, and beautiful animals, I have discovered a part of myself while working at the Sanctuary. I have discovered that I have more in me than I thought I did. Working here has given me confidence. It has shown me that, with teamwork and compassion, we can do so much more together than we can on our own. Volunteering here has revealed to me a renewed and strengthened love for animals and a fresh compassion for all of life… I feel like I am the one who got the better end of the deal. In exchange for giving a little bit of my time doing something I truly enjoy, I have received a host of special memories and an array of magical moments. The monkeys, the volunteers, and the Sanctuary itself will always have a special place in my heart…

PPS Volunteers Anne and Morgan

Anne and Morgan:
The Sanctuary has been such a special and important part of our lives for the past three years and we feel very blessed, honored, and humbled by the experience…To the Monkeys we say: “thank you for the incredible beings you are, for the joy you have brought to our lives, and for all you have taught us!”

All the pain and anguish we feel, they can also feelÖ Since 1996, Pacific Primate Sanctuary has been my breath of relief. In just a few short years, the Sanctuary has begun to teach me how to become a better primate.

Anything I can do to make the lives easier for these little people is my pleasure." Motoko
Each kind of monkey has a different language, different voice, and different song...I am very glad that I can listen to such a beautiful small voice.

The best thing is the simple process of knowing I could help some of the endangered species on this earth. I feel I have helped and been part of a great and heartfelt cause...and I will try to carry it out into the world.

I feel the need to stand up for other creatures and to offer my help where I can.

If it were not for organizations like Pacific Primate Sanctuary, these primates might not still be alive.

I come to help the monkeys, but they end up helping me. They show me what a family can be.

PPS Volunteer Skip

As a volunteer at Pacific Primate Sanctuary, I find it difficult to decide who benefits more, the monkeys or me. When I finish taking care of their needs, I like to visit each enclosure and look at their little faces and say good-bye. I get the warmest, most rewarding feeling of thanks through their remarkable, bright eyes. My heart is really moved by both our little primates and the love shown by my fellow volunteers. We all work to preserve and protect our wonderful animals.

I come to the Sanctuary because I love the monkeys. I feel compassion for them because of the situations they've come from: medical research labs, terrible human turmoil. I want to offer a different experience with human kind, an experience that is positive. Maybe that will help alleviate some of their pain and suffering. After volunteering for a few years, the monkeys and I have a mutual respect and understanding. Itís important to show affection and love for our fellow beings.

In my part of the country, the Midwest, animals were destroyed just for sport: Birds were shot out of the sky; rabbits and fox were killed, not even to eat, just for fun. When I was a child I was a part of that. I hope my volunteering is my redemption for that. In many places animals are looked upon as things to exploit. I think they have as much right to be here as we do. There is a growing shift in our understanding that animals are our equals. If time is running out for them, it will be running out for us.

It's apparent that everyone who volunteers at the Primate Sanctuary does it from a purely selfless place. Personally, it gets me outside my own head and the trivialities of everyday existence, and gives me hope - hope that more people will see the need for protecting beings who have themselves no voice; hope that growing awareness on a global scale will turn the tide of rainforest destruction; and hope that someday these primates and/or their descendants will once again sing and flourish in their native home.

Debbie (photographer)
The thought of the possible extinction of the monkeys and the inhumane laboratory tests that are done to these precious little animals is why I feel compelled to do what ever I can to help. I hope that my pictures will help to education the public. If we all work together we can make a difference.

I came to Pacific Primate Sanctuary to help the monkeys have a better life. They have since become my teachers. While observing their behavior I have learned how people should treat each other, in the way they share their food, and just take care of each other.




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