Parrots for Patriots gets two new massive shipping containers through discount donation
VANCOUVER — It’s been awhile since we caught up with Chris “Birdman” Driggins and his entourage of beautiful and exotic parrots that he rescues all the time. Right now, even with the challenges of COVID-19, he is taking some time to expand and grow.
After founding Northwest Bird Rescue, and then founding Parrots for Patriots in the last several years, Driggins is now expanding into another branch of his organizations specifically for crafting safe and affordable bird toys.
He figured he’d start big, with two massive shipping containers.
“We just received two a one-way trip containers, brand new containers, high tops, one with five doors on it and one with dual doors on the end for all of our Manzanita trees that will be manufacturing soon,” Driggins said. “We’re creating a new division called Parrots for Patriots Toys soon to be seen by Aug. 1. We’re going to have over 400 different toys and items.”
The containers, which Driggins received at a generous discount through new partnerships with two different container companies, will house the new bird toy operation which is a large expansion of the organization’s production.
Driggins has been rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing exotic birds in the Pacific Northwest for years. When he noticed many of the birds he was placing were going to veterans, he realized what valuable companions they can be to those who have served, especially those with PTSD.
Veterans receive discounted birds and toys through the program and even are invited to come and volunteer in the production of the toys for others.
“I just wanted to share the wealth,” Driggins previously told Clark County Today. ”From how birds can keep you busy, from teaching them tricks, teaching them how to talk, giving them the right diet … There’s nothing better than a bird, nothing!”
Driggins, who is a veteran himself, works with many veterans on a daily basis, especially Sgt. (Ret.) Garth Noggle; his right hand man. Together with others, they will be launching the production of various bird toys, perches and many other, fun bird-related items.
One of those that stepped in to help Parrots for Patriots and Driggins with the discounted containers was Alan Conner with Portland Container.
“So it’s a really personal one to one likeness with the parrot and whoever they choose to go with,” Conner said of the vets in the program. “What he’s doing is a very important thing to happen in America right now and it’s really building. It’s like, you know, seeing eye dogs, well the parrots become their friends and that’s very important for our veterans.”
The shipping containers, which came from both Portland Container and another Oregon company, were bought by Driggins at half of what they usually sell for; with the one from Portland Container being a donation to the program.
Over the course of the next several months, Driggins, Noggle and many other community and veteran volunteers will assemble the full Parrots for Patriots Toys set-up. For more information visit the Parrots for Patriots website and the new toys website in August.