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Millard West soccer team writes encouraging letters to Omaha's zoo staff

Posted at 10:41 PM, Apr 17, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — This National Volunteer Week, several organizations across the metro are joining forces to make the community a better place.

Share Omaha designates part of it as "Do Good Days."

3 News Now Reporter Molly Hudson met with the Millard West High School boy's soccer team doing their part to uplift the zookeepers at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

One team supports another team, but not in a sport.

"As a team, it helps us come together a little bit and be thankful for the awesome zoo that we have," said Cole Kirschner, team captain.

Instead, the Millard West boys' soccer team wrote encouragement letters to the care team at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

"I was so glad to be able to give back to the zoo keepers. They do such a good job obviously one of the best zoos in America," said Carson Hutteger, team captain.

For the last month, the animal care team at the zoo has been providing around-the-clock care for Hope, the new giraffe calf. This is because her mother Zola has not been showing the expected level of maternal care.

"You see how much work they do in the zoo and I really just encouraged them and thanked them for all that they do," said Hutteger.

Writing messages like, "You are special", "Thank you" and "You matter."

They are handwritten by every member of the team as they showed up for practice.

"I was just letting them know that people appreciate what they do and they probably don't get that a lot but everyone in Omaha and around loves going to the zoo and appreciates it," said Gabe Griffiths, team goalie.

And they will be delivered to the zoo to spread that appreciation.

It's just one example of opportunities through Share Omaha's "Do Good Days"

"It just goes to show there's so many ways to volunteer you can do it anywhere. You can volunteer at a soccer field and make some impact," said Teresa Mardesen, executive director of Share Omaha. "Volunteering is philanthropy and it helps our non-profits in amazing ways."

The Wildcats share their team spirit to boost the team at the zoo.

"It's just a good thing to help out your community and make it better," said Hutteger.

Share Omaha already has 1,500 volunteers signed up this week. There are several opportunities to fit different schedules, even activities to do at home.

Click here to learn more about opportunities in Omaha.

Click here to learn more about opportunities in Iowa.

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