Looking for an easy yet effective way to help orphaned animals? We have the answer! The next time you finish a tube of mascara, don’t throw the packaging in the recycle bin. Instead send the mascara wand to Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, a non-profit organization that helps to rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife in Western North Carolina. What do they do with old mascara wands? The refuge uses the wands to help clean the rescued animals’ fur. That’s right – your mascara wands can help baby animals!

After Appalachian Wildlife Refuge’s co-founder, Savanna Trantham’s Facebook post on how to use mascara wands on orphaned wildlife went viral, thousands of wands have been mailed in to the now dubbed “Wands for Wildlife” program.

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The bristles from a mascara wand are able to catch fly eggs, as well as the larva without causing any damage to the fur. This baby squirrel appreciates it!

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Appalachian Wildlife Refuge plans to open a new triage facility in Western North Carolina that is likely to see over 2,000 injured and orphaned wild animals in its first year alone. So all those mascara wands are going to come in handy, such as with these adorable cottontails!

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If you’ve been looking for a time to clean out your makeup bag, now is the perfect time. Before mailing, Appalachian Wildlife Refuge asks that you wash the wands with soapy water to help remove residual mascara. Click here to access the mailing address to send the wands.

“Wands for Wildlife” has become such a viral sensation that businesses, schools, and groups are hosting “Wandraisers” so if you’re a part of any group, be sure to mention this great program!

And – remember, if you come across an animal that appears to be abandoned or injured and have your phone handy, do a quick online search to find the number of the nearest wildlife rehabilitation agency or SPCA to ask them what you should do – you can also find a list of rescue hotlines, here.

Even if you don’t use mascara or have old wands, you can still help our furry friends in vital ways. Appalachian Wildlife Refuge has set up a wish list of items their facility needs to care for the animals. Volunteering or interning your time towards a wildlife organization is also a wonderful opportunity to get involved and assist a cause you care about!

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Image Source: Appalachian Wildlife Refuge/Facebook