Helping Wildlife With Grace

from Wildlife Promise

As the bleak news continues to flow from the oil spill disaster in the Gulf, there is one thing that is keeping spirits a little bit lighter: the amazing outpouring of support from people–especially children–across the country who are doing something to help wildlife.

We were honored Thursday by a visit from one such 10-year-old named Grace, who lives close enough to the National Wildlife Federation’s headquarters to stop by with a special delivery.

Grace had raised more than $1,400 this past Saturday by setting up a lemonade stand in her driveway.

After feeling helpless watching news reports and reading the stories about the wildlife in the Gulf, Grace enlisted her parents in setting up a stand to give away lemonade, apple juice, coffee, doughnuts, cookies, or snacks to anyone who made a minimum $5 donation to National Wildlife Federation.

With some outreach through her neighborhood and school listservs, as well as her mom’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, Grace’s little lemonade stand attracted people from all over the area. In addition to those who biked and walked over to deliver their donations, Grace’s classmates brought their piggybanks and personal savings to donate. Even the principal from Grace’s school and his family came to donate.

Grace delivered the donations in a shoebox decorated with photos of Gulf wildlife, including a picture of a sea turtle hatchling she had the chance to help out in person (watch the video below for the story).

We showed her around NWF Headquarters and introduced her to the editors of Ranger Rick magazine, as well as Eliza Russell, Kevin Coyle and Susan Kaderka, three people who are helping lead the deployment of the National Wildlife Federation’s Gulf Coast Volunteer Surveillance Teams, an effort that Grace’s lemonade stand donations will go directly to supporting.

We hope she had a good time. Likely she’ll be running the place someday!

YouTube Preview Image