On Evangeline’s (Evie) sixth birthday, she asked me when she’d be a grown-up. When I responded with surprise at the question, she told me that her birthday wish was to “grow up faster”. When I asked her why, she told me she was worried that, “by the time she was a grown up, and able to help save the cheetahs, all of the cheetahs would already be extinct.” In order to help her through her feelings (and for my own sanity, slow down her urge to grow up), we talked about how she could help the cheetahs right now, with activities that she can manage herself.
Evie’s first fundraiser was a coin drive in her class. She created a “cheetah jar” (see above photo on her desk) and taught her classmates about the plight of the cheetah using CCF’s webpage resources. Her class of 20 students (aged three – six), brought in spare change from home, to the tune of $287.87. The five and six-year olds were in charge of accounting, they tallied the contents of the jar and rolled all of the coins into paper coin sleeves. Everyone seemed very excited and proud to participate in the fundraiser.
Evie’s next effort was to design a cheetah t-shirt. They are now available on Bonfire for sale to support CCF!
Evie and her siblings are big fans of Plae brand shoes. After reading about about the Plae-it-Forward Program, we contacted them, and Evie has become a Plae Ambassador for CCF. Plae gave us the special code – GIVE672, which we’ve also distributed via Facebook and to family and friends. If anyone makes a purchase from Plae using the code, Plae will donate 10% of the proceeds to CCF. Feel free to share the GIVE672 code and webpage www.goplae.com.
I’m amazed every day at Evie’s enthusiasm for cheetahs, and her commitment and drive toward fundraising. I help her with the internet, phone, and organizing details but she’s in charge when it comes to the rest. I know Evie isn’t the only kid out there who’s driven to save endangered and threatened species. If the wishes and prayers of kids could do it alone, then the world’s wildlife would be protected and there would be no need for organizations like CCF. Wishes just aren’t enough; we should help the kids in their efforts to help save all the animals (“but especially cheetahs” – Evie).
– Kelly Hayes on behalf of Evangeline Hayes