On a freezing January morning in Minnesota, Melissa Chelminiak, Director of Aveda Mission Engagement, witnessed a small house sparrow fly into her window and collapse to the ground. Without hesitation, Melissa rushed outside, carefully picked up the bird, and drove to the Minnesota Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (WRC), an intake facility that provides quality medical care and rehabilitation for injured, sick and orphaned wild animals. While in the intake waiting room, Melissa noticed a “volunteers needed” sign. Her life has never been the same since.
“It demanded a yearlong commitment, and I signed up on the spot,” Melissa recalls. “Caring for animals has always come second nature to me, so this was a no brainer. Fast forward to eight months later and the experiences I’ve had run the gamut of exhilarating to heartbreaking to incredibly inspiring; I relish in my Sundays where I get to spend precious time with so many wonderful beings—helping bring them back to health.”