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Little Brays of Sunshine Member Information

This page describes the roles and responsibilities of members of this group. If you have not already, please also read the "About Us" information linked at the left-side of this page.

Please carefully read the information on this page and make sure you understand and can meet your obligations as a volunteer before requesting to become a volunteer.

Process to Become a Volunteer

To become a member of this group, you will first need a meetup.com user logon. If you do not have one, they are free and only take a few brief moments to acquire. You can do this at the same time as you join this group. .

Electronically joining this meetup group is the equivalent of submitting an application to become a volunteer and does not automatically confer upon you acceptance as a volunteer. If you have satisfactorily completed the profile questions and we are not over-staffed in the role you are interested in, you will be approved as a trainee volunteer.

At that point, you will have access to our schedule of events and be expected to complete the required training and then begin participating in events before your trainee status is removed and you become an official volunteer.

Private Group

This meetup group is a private group. Member names and profile information and event details are only available to members.

Member Profile Picture

We require that you provide a clear and reasonably current online picture of yourself when you join. This will help foster better relationships among each other and help insure the integrity of our members.

Physical Risk

Donkeys are inherently calm, non-aggressive animals. At Donkey Park events, we have never had an injury to volunteers or the public worse than minor bruises from contact or a small cut from an accidental bite. And those incidents can be counted on one hand since 2012 when we began working with the public. However, donkeys, even the miniature ones, weigh more and are stronger than most all people and so the potential for injuries is always present and can occur from being in the wrong place when the animals are moving, or being pulled down while leading them, or being accidentally bitten or stepped on, to name a few. Training and good safety practices will minimize the potential for injury. You are expected to learn and follow the safety practices we define in order to become and remain a volunteer. But we cannot guarantee that an accident will never happen. If you do not feel you have the physical capabilities to work with the donkeys or are not comfortable with this risk, please do not volunteer for a position involving proximity with the donkeys.

Equine Experience

Few people will already have donkey experience. That is okay. We will train. Most people with equine experience will have gained it working with horses. This is definitely helpful, but donkeys are not horses and learn and react differently. Handling them as horses can be detrimental. So, while we greatly value and welcome equine experience, do not be offended if we still require you to review or learn what might be perceived as basic "donkey"manship skills.

Time Commitment

With the exception of special volunteer projects, volunteers are expected to participate in activities, on average, at least two to three times a month. Of course, we understand that, from time to time, you might not be available to maintain this due to illness, vacations, or other life events. If your general schedule does not allow you to commit to that level of participation, please volunteer at a later date when you can.

Volunteer Roles:

There are various ways in which you can volunteer with the Little Brays of Sunshine. When you join, please specify which of these roles you are interested in. Experience is helpful, but not required. We will train for all roles.

With the exception of the "other special skills" category, all roles require that you are able to travel to Donkey Park and the Hudson Valley vicinity for events.


  • Handler: A handler actively works with the donkeys at our events, leading them, loading them on the trailer, and controlling them during hands-on visits with people. You should be in good health and have no physical or other challenges (temporary or permanent) that could hinder your ability to control them or distract you or which might lead to accidental injuries to you or those around you. To become a good handler, you need to gain experience and learn basic donkey behavior and training methods. Handlers are also expected to perform routine care-taking tasks such as feeding and manure pick-up when needed during the course of, or in preparation for, an event.

  • Ambassador: An ambassador is a handler who has also acquired sufficient knowledge to both handle and talk knowledgeably with people about donkeys and who can serve as a host to those visiting Donkey park. Ambassadors will also consistently demonstrate proficiency and leadership in safety practices.

  • Caretaker: A caretaker sees to the daily needs of the donkeys and includes tasks such as feeding, stall mucking and manure pick-up, grooming, and, with further training and experience, veterinary-related tasks such as hoof-care, worming, physical assessments, etc. Caretakers will need to understand basic handling and safety practices as they will be working among the donkeys.

  • Mentor: A mentor is a member of our "Big Bray-ther, Big Sist-ear" program. As a mentor, you will be responsible for spending quality time of at least an hour each week with a donkey that you have been paired with. (You may or may not be able to choose the donkey depending on which donkeys are available and in need). You will provide affection, grooming, and both basic and advanced training exercises (commensurate with your experience). Being a donkey mentor is a great way to enjoy the company and rewards of donkey companionship while helping to make sure that each donkey gets some special attention.

  • Grounds and Maintenance: Donkey Park can always use people to help maintain grounds and structures or to help complete one-time projects. Tasks can include skills such as carpentry, electrical, construction, landscaping/lawn care, excavating, mechanical, painting, etc. Hands-on experience is always greatly appreciated, but not required.

  • Other Special Skills: Do you have a special skill or experience that would be helpful to Donkey Park? Please let us know. Example skills might include teaching, social work, marketing, artistic, craft-making, social media, fund-raising, etc.

Financial Responsibilities:

There are no dues or other financial contributions expected or required from volunteers. Depending on your role, however, you may need to invest in clothing or materials to perform your role: for example, waterproof ("muck") boots if you will be working as a caretaker, or, purchase at cost, a shirt or hat should it be deemed to be part of a staff "uniform". Donkey Park will endeavor, however, to help any with financial need so that all can volunteer regardless of economic status.

Inclusion/Diversity:

One of Donkey Park's core goals is to provide a welcome place for both volunteers and visitors/clients regardless of race, culture, age, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or handicap so long as any one person's personal circumstances or challenges do not create a safety risk to themselves, others, or the donkeys.

Table of Contents

Page title Most recent update Last edited by
Little Brays of Sunshine Member Information November 1, 2017 9:20 PM anonymous
Media July 21, 2018 10:14 PM anonymous
About Little Brays of Sunshine May 10, 2017 7:37 PM anonymous

Ulster Park, NY

Founded Jul 17, 2016

Organizer:

Steve Stiert
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