There’s something irresistible about bunnies but when you add in helping bunnies that have experienced tough times or been abandoned, lending a hand to these furry friends takes on a whole new meaning. This past weekend, eight teens spent part of their Saturday volunteering through Camp Fire Central Oregon’s free Teen Connects program at Ember’s Wildflower Animal Sanctuary and Bunny Rescue in Redmond.

In two action-packed hours, the teens hopped into action, feeding and watering bunnies, cleaning pens, restocking fresh hay, and socializing and loving on the rabbits, while learning about all the different types of bunnies and other tidbits of bunny education. Lindsey Provost, owner and founder of Ember’s Wildflower Bunny Rescue, also spoke to the teens about her nonprofit, which, as of December 2023, has taken in 348 bunnies, spay/neutered 235 and adopted out 248 bunnies.

“Learning more about the needs of domesticated bunnies allows our teens to help spread information that could potentially stop the abandonment of bunnies by people who don't understand what it takes to care for them,” said Zafiro Larsen, program manager at Camp Fire Central Oregon. “It definitely had an impact on the teens who attended in terms of learning and helping to make a difference. This service project was a hit, and the kids are eager to volunteer here again!”

Some remarks and insights shared by teens that day: 

Why did you choose to help out at Ember's Bunny Rescue?

  • "My family adopted a bunny from Ember's a few years ago, so this was a nice way to give back to them."
  • "I really love animals and want to interact with them as much as possible."
  • "I need volunteer hours for school, and this seemed like a nice way to get them."

What do you think about the work Lindsey is doing to rescue and take care of bunnies?

  • "It's really good that there is someone who cares about them because you always hear about cats and dogs being cared for, but not rabbits."
  • "It's a lot of work, but the bunnies are really cute so it's good that someone is doing it!"
  • “Lindsey is awesome!”

Ember's is always looking for volunteers, and the nonprofit has a program to adopt out bunnies. Anyone interested can look at its website.

Teen Connects provides youth ages 12-18 the opportunity to connect, engage in community service, and build leadership skills while volunteering throughout the community. It's funded primarily through grants and donations, such as a recent $7,500 award received from the St. Charles Community Benefit Grant. The generous funds will enable the program and its staffing to expand, offering more opportunities for teens to volunteer through various service projects, including our "Spring Into Service" initiatives, kicking off in March as well as summertime teen programs and other opportunities throughout the rest of the year. Learn more about Teen Connects and sign up here.