Cookies for conservation
I have been going to the Houston Zoo my whole life, thanks to my Grannie, who is a former board member. The more time I spent visiting the zoo, I started to understand what so many are doing to help animals. Those same people helped me realize that young isn’t the same as helpless – in fact it is the opposite.
On the days I wasn’t visiting the zoo, I was in the kitchen. When I started watching kids’ shows on Food Network, I asked myself, “Why can’t that be me?” Then, I put my two loves together and baked to help animals.
At my first bake sale in 2014, I raised over a thousand dollars for the Houston Zoo’s conservation efforts. I had another bake sale in 2015 and doubled the proceeds for the International Rhino Foundation. In April, I attended a Wildlife Conservation Expo. I heard about the work that Jonah Ratsimbazafy puts into lemurs and Nurzhafarina Othman puts into elephants, but it was Belinda Low Mackey and Peter Lalampaa of the Grevy’s Zebra Trust in Kenya who really affected me. I was inspired. Belinda mentioned that their conservation ambassador needed a new motorbike to help him support his colleagues. I decided that my cause this year would be to raise $6,000 for the bike.
It wasn’t long after that I got an email from Belinda telling me that Peter was going to be in the United States, and that if I’d plan my bake sale around his trip, he would attend!
On Oct. 1, I had my biggest bake sale. Friends and family came and kept coming. Peter arrived in his Samburu tribal dress, 6 feet tall and as amazing as I remembered. I loved seeing my friends ask Peter questions. Many who have inspired me attended too. At the end of the day, I raised over $4,000. Combined with the donations I received online, that totaled over $10,000. I was overjoyed. My goal was to save at least one rhino, or one zebra, and I think I have done that. Now the only thing left is to save the rest.
Editor’s note: See cookiesforconservation.com for more on Sophie’s efforts.
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