As you know the greatest threats to bears are loss of habitat and intolerant human attitudes. Vince Shute dreamed of a world where bears and humans would co-exist in peace. Since 1995, the volunteers of The American Bear Association, a 501(c)(3)non-profit organization, have been diligently working to educate approximately a quarter million visitors to the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary. However, the fate of our mission and that of the wild bears who have been visiting there for more than four decades is in peril.

Please help us secure their future by donating towards the purchase of critical bear habitat surrounding the Sanctuary – before it’s too late! Our needs for donations vary, please see our list below for the most current needs. We are always accepting bear food donations (see the wildlife supplies list provided below), gifts of stocks and charitable gift annuities. Together, we can make it a better world for both humans and bears through education, observation and experience!

Right now, we need help more than ever! The COVID-19 pandemic has hit everyone very hard in different ways. For us, it is STILL making it difficult for us to purchase the food we need for the bears because of product shortages. Of course our admissions sales, on-site donations, and our GiveMN fundraiser are great ways to help. But, we also accept direct donations of food! Some of the bears’ favorite treats are peanuts in the shell, black oil seeds, apples, watermelons, and any kind of hard nuts. These food items can be delivered directly by donors to the sanctuary when you visit or mailed to 4303 Hwy 53 Orr, MN 55771. 

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American Bear Association / VSWS Needs List

The American Bear Association and Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary are in constant need of donated items. Our needs range anything from stationery to batteries to food. But just as important, we need people’s donated time and skills! Any help you can give us is greatly appreciated.

The American Bear Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The value of your donated item(s) is deductible to the full extent of the law. We will provide you with documentation for your tax records. Items can be mailed to: PO Box 77 Orr, MN 55771 or to our office 4303 Highway 53 Orr, MN 55771. Alternatively, items can be dropped off during hours in which we are open to the public : Memorial Day weekend- Labor Day weekend 5PM-8PM. Please note we are closed Sundays & Mondays. If you have any questions about making a donation, please contact us. If you would like recognition for your donation, please forward your e-mail from Amazon to:

Wildlife Supplies

Volunteer Supplies

Household Items

Office Supplies

Hand Tools

Power Tools


Landscaping Supplies


  • 4-wheel drive vehicle
  • Forklift (please call for more information)
  • Riding lawn mower
  • Engine oil, tires, wiper blades (please call our office for specific sizes)

Intern Wish List (for their days off)

Services Needed at the Sanctuary or ABA Office

    • Carpenters for deck projects, cabin repairs
    • Visitor Center/Gift Shop assistant (greet guests, ring up gift shop sales, give directions to our viewing platform)
    • Electricians
    • Camp cooks (meals can be cooked in our kitchen or cooked from your home and brought to the sanctuary)
    • Secretarial services (addressing envelopes, running errands in town, answering phone calls and e-mails)
    • Computer experts for website changes
    • Graphic designers for educational sign help
    • Landscapers and horticulturalists
    • Small engine mechanic for regular vehicle repairs
    • Alternative energy experts (solar)
    • Truckers to transport food from Cities to Sanctuary
    • Heavy equipment operators and the machinery for habitat and road improvement projects
    • Volunteer groups to gather natural foods such as acorns, hazelnuts, walnuts, hickory nuts, etc
    • Copy and printing services