Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Kids put their money where their hearts are...

I am consistently amazed by the generosity of many young people that give so willingly and selflessly to organizations like the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Rescue Program. Three wonderful donations from kids have come in over the last couple of months and I would like to share their stories with you:

6-year old Emmett lives in Orlando, Florida and on a trip to visit his uncle in Charleston during the winter holidays, the family toured the South Carolina Aquarium and Sea Turtle Hospital. Emmett especially enjoyed meeting the sea turtle patients and went home with ideas on how he could help them. Emmett made and sold bracelets and was able to raise $125! I am told that Emmett has more fundraising planned for the hospital and we are grateful for his commitment to sea turtle conservation!

13-year old Mackenzie from Gahanna, Ohio visited the Sea Turtle Hospital last summer and was fortunate to see the release of 3 sea turtles during her trip. It was after this visit that she made it her mission to help the sick and injured sea turtles in our care. Mackenzie recently returned to Charleston in celebration of her 13th birthday and donated $700 that she raised for the Sea Turtle Rescue Program in lieu of receiving gifts. Happy 13th Birthday, Mackenzie!

Ethan Harrison from Ontario, Canada has been raising funds for the Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Rescue Program since he was 4-years old. From thousands of miles away, Ethan has supported the sea turtles for half of his life! Now 8, Ethan recently visited Charleston to deliver his latest and largest donation of $2000 bringing Ethan’s total donation to about $5000 in 4 years! It has been wonderful to watch Ethan grow and one thing never changes, his passion for helping sea turtles!

These kids are making a difference in the world. Their donations help to rehabilitate sick and injured sea turtles, giving them another chance at life. But much bigger is the impact these kids have on the people they come into contact with during their fundraising efforts. Every birthday party attendee or person adorned with a bracelet to save the sea turtles, every individual shopping at the garage sale or the station attendant giving money for bottle deposits that help save sea turtles, every friend, teacher, aunt or uncle who hears and learns from these children – these kids are educating, advocating and making a much bigger difference in sea turtle conservation than we all know!

Thank you Emmett, Mackenzie, Ethan and all the kids who are making a difference in the world!