To be honest, I don’t know how I got into cheetahs. But I am doing all I can to raise money for them. So I’m going to tell you my story, from the first little bake sale to founding an animal club, to asking people to give a donation instead of a birthday present, and eventually leading up to having a real cheetah in my house. I first set a goal for myself of $2,000. I have now raised $10,600. My next goal is around $15,000. I donate all my raised money to the Cheetah Conservation Fund. My parents told me if I keep helping cheetahs I can go to Namibia and work at CCF when I’m older.
My first fundraiser was when I was 8 years old. We baked cookies and cupcakes and sold them at a park with my brother and one of our closest friends, Sebastien. We raised about $200 from the bake sale, but Aunt Heather doubled the donation to show her support. After this, I started an animal club with 14 girls. At our first meeting we decided which fundraisers we would do and what the name of our club would be and we each chose an animal we would like to raise money for. Of course, I chose a cheetah! My club did more bake sales and an art sale.
CCF also raises special dogs to sell to farmers, so that the farmers don’t have to shoot cheetahs that are eating their livestock. Soon we formed my second club, Dogs for Cheetahs with other girls who really like dogs. This club would walk dogs to raise money for cheetahs.
You may be wondering: “How the heck did she get an ambassador cheetah in her house?!?!” My mom and I arranged a fundraiser; Dr. Laurie Marker, the founder of the Cheetah Conservation Fund was in town and came to teach us about cheetahs. The cheetah is an educational outreach ambassador from a partner non-profit called the Wild Cat Education and Conservation Fund. It was an amazing experience for me, and the other 72 people there.
I would like to thank all the people who helped me along the way, including all the members of Save Wildlife and Dogs for Cheetahs, my parents, all those who gave donations, my best friend Caroline, and my other best friend and editor, Makena. And I would also like to thank- YOU! I am always trying to think of new ways to raise money for cheetahs, and I hope this inspires you to follow your heart and do something or save something you love.