With the start of a new month, it's time to recognize our latest winner of the Giving Your Best award. We want to congratulate the "mother to all things," as her daughters call her, Maria Cavnor!
We met up with Maria and her family in Thomson, right in the middle of lunch with family, friends and the grandkids.
And you know what? It didn't take long to see why these people went out of their way to be in on the surprise... for once, they got to do something for the one who's always giving her time to rescued creatures.
Maria is devoted to saving orphaned baby animals, something that takes an enormous commitment when it comes to time, and it doesn't pay a dime.
Her 14-year old daughter, Kelci sent the nomination letter to WJBF.
"Seeing her working and just doing for the animals, waking up every night with them, and I just thought she deserved the credit, because of her doing so much every year, every time sacrificing most of her life for these animals."
Maria says, "I've actually tube fed squirrels and opossums, so tht they could get strong enough to eat from a bottle. Once they can eat from a bottle or syringe, they're heading in the right direction- same thing with deer."
Kelci laughs, "She treats them like they're her own kids."
That's because Maria has been raising, well -rescuing- animals since she was a child!
"I used to bring animals home from school, so they wouldn't have to go to the pound, and find them a home and i took care of little orphaned birds tha were knocked out of the nest."
Maria's mother, Jackie remembers it well.
"And she would hide them and I'd go into her room and hear something meowing, and there'd be a stray cat under her bed!"
While Maria loves caring for all of God's creatures -even opossums- she knows it's a mission that requires sacrifices from her whole family.
"They like it but they lose out on a lot, cause you have to feed them all night, every night, about every 2-3 hours... so they don't do a lot of vacations, so when the animals are scarce we try to take off to the mountains for a day- try to do something with them."
Daughter Rebecca McClelland says it's been worth it.
"We missed out on stuff like going to the beach when all our frined were, but it's okay. She's kinda like a mother to all creatures."
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