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Volunteers At The Heart Of The South Phoenix Wildlife Center

This week is National Volunteer Week. As a result, employees from local Arizona companies and their families are donating their time to complete projects for nonprofit organizations.

The Liberty Wildlife Center along the Salt River in South Phoenix treats birds and other animals. Andy McDonel is a Chase employee whose company organized a cleanup effort at the location on Sunday, primarily focusing on property maintenance.

“Because they have such limited volunteer resources," McDonel said, "it’s good for us to come and just apply our full force to it and get it done for them.”

Laura Hackett, an education facilitator at the center, said there’s only 5 to 6 paid staff members. As a result, she depends on volunteer efforts year-round to keep the site operating.

“Weeds spring up like crazy here so we can never stay on top of it on our own," Hackett said. "So that is huge to help us out with that.”

Hackett also said other volunteers help the center out remotely by working a hotline for those who find injured animals.


After spending seven months as a news intern for KJZZ, Matt Kling returned in January 2019 as a general assignment reporter, mainly on the weekends.Kling’s radio career started when he joined Blaze Radio as freshman at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School. At Blaze Radio he has served as a host, producer and assistant production director. He’s also interned for KTAR before joining KJZZ in 2018.Kling also has extensive work in television production, working as a director, technical director and other positions for Cronkite News and Arizona PBS. Today, Kling serves as a newscast producer for Cronkite News. He anticipates graduation from the Cronkite School in May 2019.When he’s not working, you can find Kling out and about on the town, or in his downtown Phoenix apartment watching his favorite Philadelphia sports teams.