Magic wands

Skyland, NC, Postmaster Elizabeth Bopp, in the background, and Retail Associate Karen Rabb.

Don’t throw out that old mascara wand — it could help clean a rescued animal.

Appalachian Wildlife Refuge, an Asheville, NC-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides care for injured and orphaned animals, uses clean wands to remove fly eggs and larva from fur.

The group recently ran low on wands and posted a Facebook request for more.

Soon packages containing the makeup applicators began pouring into the Skyland, NC, Post Office.

“We were receiving around 200 packages a week for them at first,” said Skyland Postmaster Elizabeth Bopp, who added that the office’s package volume has increased by nearly 1,000 parcels in the past two months.

Kimberly Brewster, Appalachian Wildlife’s co-founder and vice president, has become a familiar face at Skyland.

“Since we opened their PO Box this year, we really look forward to seeing Kimberly’s excitement every time she walks through the door,” Bopp said. “We have seen her cry with joy and laugh with excitement at the outpouring of gifts and donations.”

Postal regulations do not prohibit the shipment of unused or clean mascara applicators. Other organizations across the nation also use the mail to seek donations and other support.

Skyland employees are happy to have a role in helping the refuge fulfill its mission.

“We are delivering more than just mail,” Bopp said. “We are delivering hope.”