I firmly believe in “giving back” – to our planet, its wildlife and people. Giving back can be something as simple as lending your voice to a cause, or spreading the word on social media. It can be something as free as installing an in-home trash can, designated solely for the recycling of paper/cardboard products (this reduces your contribution to the landfill!). Or it can be donating your time or money to a cause that inspires or moves you. Here are my causes, and perhaps while you’re taking a look, you’ll adopt one for yourself:
The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
It was during a screening of Born to Be Wild (2011) in the St. Louis Science Center’s OMNIMAX Theater that I learned of the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. Anyone who knows me knows I vehemently oppose poaching and the illegal wildlife trade/trafficking – especially when elephants, one of my favorite mammals, are involved. The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust rescues elephant and rhinoceros calves who’ve been orphaned as a result of poaching. The calves are cared for and reintroduced into the wild as adolescents/adults, something I find to be inspiring and amazing.
I learned of Cause an Uproar on Nat Geo Wild during Big Cat Week 2011. Their clever PSA’s and overall pro-conservation message hooked me… I didn’t want to be part of a conversation where we talk about big cats “the way we talk about dinosaurs.” Since 2011, I’ve made two outright donations, purchased “Cause an Uproar” clothing/accessories, and uploaded my own “little kitties for big cats” pictures (it only costs $5!). My support for this cause is unyielding. Check out their awesome video (below):
The Human Rights Campaign (HRC)
International Rhino Foundation
Ste. Genevieve County Association for Retarded Citizens – This was the local ARC chapter. The ARC is an organization devoted to assisting those with intellectual or developmental disabilities. I volunteered to assist with their annual Christmas dinner in 2003, and as the Vice President of my school’s FBLA chapter, I championed and led a committee of volunteers in 2004.
The NWF works to ensure the conservation of American species, “From the tundra of Alaska to the palm-lined shores of Florida.”
I wouldn’t mind a subscription to their award-winning magazine National Wildlife, perhaps that will be the forthcoming annual contribution!
What I love about the Wildlife Conservation Network is that 100% of your donation can be designated to a conservation group (ex. elephants). Donations have been made to this organization in my honor for occasions such as graduation and my birthday.
In addition to signing WWF petitions throughout the year and sharing their videos or stories across social media platforms, I purchase multiple annual calendars (because I can’t decide if I want big cats, elephants, or baby animals!) for myself and my family. A portion of calendar proceeds is donated to support conservation efforts – so do yourself a favor, do some good and as a result, have spectacular images to look at every morning, all year long!