One More Generation – Helping Endangered Species Survive and Thrive
One more generation (OMG) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of endangered species.
Founded by two Fayette Montessori School children Carter (9) and his sister Olivia (7) in Fayetteville GA, they are helping to speak out for animals who cannot speak up for themselves.
We think what they are doing is awesome and these early risers deserve some recognition as the Cause of the Week!
1 in 4 mammals are in danger of disappearing off the face of the earth and one more generation is stepping up to raise awareness and trying to flip this on it’s head.
How did the whole idea come about?
Carter and Olivia have been adopting Cheetah’s in South Africa for years now and as Olivia started to understand why animals needed adopting, she cried, and together with her brother vowed to make a difference. They started OMG in an effort to educate everyone on the plight of so many animals, and to show the world that”Anybody Can Make a Difference”.
Why is this cause close to your heart? Why should others support it?
As a society, we have allowed far too many species become extinct and the major cause is Habitat Loss (and or pollution of their habitat) and Illegal Hunting/Poaching in an effort to make a profit. Usually, these instances are caused because a lack of understanding (education) regarding the impact on the big picture. There are estimated to be more than 1,700 species on the endangered/threatened list and the number keeps growing.
Let’s talk about Global Climate Change; Did you know that “it is estimated that more than 1/3rd of the Earth’s animal species and almost 20% of the plant species face extinction by 2050 if we maintain our current greenhouse gas trajectory.”
(Source: Nature paper cited in http://www.skepticalscience.com/print.php?a=128)
Do you have any other events or fundraisers that you would like others to know about?
OMG is involved in numerous events both locally and on a global bases. Here is a brief list of the more current projects our founders are working on;
1. They just recently returned from making a trip to the Gulf where they delivered badly needed Animal Rescue Supplies to the folks at the Marine Mammal & Sea Turtle Rescue Center in New Orleans. You can read all about the trip and even watch a video on their website. www.onemoregeneration.org Carter and Olivia had been working with local churches and other groups on collecting the supplies for almost 4-months before they made the trip to the Gulf.
2. They recently won the Grand Prize in a Nestles Heroes Contest. The prize is essentially an ice cream party for them and up to 50 of their friends. They both decided to share the prize with their classmates at their school since the entire school has been so helpful with our organization from the start. The ice-cream party was last Friday and was held at the Fayette Montessori School in Fayetteville GA. All the kids had a blast.
3. They are working with our State Legislatures on proposing Legislative Language changes to the current laws written by the GA DNR (Georgia Department of Natural Resources) in an effort to help stop the Rattlesnake Roundups in our state. We have partnered with the folks from the Center of Biological Diversity out of AZ and their legal team has helped us write the language changes we want to introduce in November. So far these two enterprising young students have collected over 1,100 signatures on a petition asking for change to the Roundups. Our goal is to change the focus of the events from Snake Roundups to Snake Festivals. Carter and Olivia have just requested meetings with the Mayors of Claxton and Whigham County in GA in an effort to seek support for their initiative.
4. We are working to try and raise $50,000.00 for a Cheetah Rescue program in South Africa. The Ann Van Dyke Cheetah Center runs the program and they are doing a tremendous job. The process is slow and funds are extremely hard to come-by but we they held a silent auction a couple of weeks ago where we auctioned off painting kids in the community did of their favorite endangered species which has set them on their way of their goal.
5. We are working with various organizations in our immediate area on raising awareness to the plight of the many endangered species across the globe. OMG has partnered with all major community entities in an effort to help spread the word about all the endangered species and how everyone can get involved. We have an Educational Outreach program that we present to all the visitors of the Atlanta Zoo, The Fernbank Museum in Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium, The Atlanta Botanical Garden, and the Cochran Mill Nature Center.
6. We are in talks with the folks from The Art Miles Mural Project (http://artmiles.eplanetsystems.com/), which is an international organization that raises awareness to various initiatives globally through art. We recently proposed to them that we collaborate on such a project about endangered species. We are very excited about the prospect of organizing such an event.
7. We were just invited to be a guest speaker at the Caring for Creation 2011 Conference at Lake Junaluska, NC in March/April of 2011. We are preparing our presentation as we speak for what will definitely be our largest presentation to-date. Our intent is to encourage churches to re-focus their message in a way that will help raise awareness to what Man is doing to God’s creations.
8. Thanks to a meeting these two kids had with our State Congressman Lynn Westmoreland, a further meeting has been set up for us to meet with his Deputy District Director Andy Bush so we can discuss the needed support for HR14 which covers Ocean Acidification. Carter and Olivia are very excited about this opportunity.
9. They will be hosting a Water Event at the Fernbank Museum on Oct 10th, 2010 where we will be discussing the importance of water on all living things and also partnering with an organization called Ryan’s Well which helps build water wells in poor villages around the world to ensure everyone has access to clean drinking water. Carter and Olivia picked up the phone and made contact with Ryan (the founder of Ryan’s Well) directly in an effort to see how they too might help him with their mission. Ryan was very encouraging and spent over an hour on the phone with them where they collaborated on varies way we can help each other out.
10. Also on that same day, we will be participating in the special celebration on this unique date of 10/10/10, across from the capital by being part of “Uniting Voices”: An Interfaith Worship Service Calling for Climate Justice. This is an event that hopes to raise awareness to the problems with our climate do to pollution etc. The event will be held at the Georgia Park Plaza at Central Presbyterian Church, 201 Washington St. SW; Atlanta, GA, 30303 and goes from 4:00 to 5:30PM. They will have some great entertainment on hand and some well-know speakers from the community.
Both events will be videoed for inclusion in the “One Day On Earth” organization that is hoping to document historical events from this special day and preserve them for future generations.
11. Finally, we are attempting to work on a joint project with Jungle Jack Hanna and or Jeff Corwin to help raise awareness of the issues regarding endangered species to kids nationwide. (This is one of the projects, which we really want to move forward with. Although we do not yet have confirmed date for meeting with either of them, we are still trying 😉 If anyone has contacts to either of these guys, we would love to hear from you.
What advice would you give to others that might like to take on such an amazing endeavor?
JUST DO IT!!! WE had no idea what we were getting ourselves into when we started OMG. At times it gets a little overwhelming, at times it seems like there are not enough hours in the day to do everything you want to do. But, the reward far outweighs the hard work required to make it work. Seeing the passion and excitement that our founders have with every task we take on and with every task we complete, is worth every painstaking effort we have pored into their organization. It is so true when people say that children are our future. They have the passion, and willingness to do whatever it takes to help save these animals who are dying off because of what past generations have done. If you want to make a difference, you have to get up and take the first step and the rest will follow. Listen to your kids, they know more than we give them credit for.
How has social media helped your organization?
Social Media is the single most important element of us achieving the goals we set out to achieve. There is no faster and more cost effective way to reach the masses than via Social Media. Social Media gives you instant feedback from the masses, all without any tainted spin on the results. The feedback you get, is real, it is accurate, and allows every organization to react in Real-Time. There is no other marketing tool on the market that can deliver what Social Media can. Having said that, we strongly encourage everyone who might be new to the whole Social Media thing to seek guidance from organizations who work in that environment. It is easy to sit back and say “Oh, I can handle that”, but you will soon find out, you have been spinning your wheels for months and still only have a few followers, and most important, very little financial support. Find a good organization and learn from their expertise.
What do you have planned for the future of one more generation?
From it’s inception, our goal has been to make a difference. We want to raise awareness regarding the plight of the many endangered species, we want to provide everyone with the educational resources which will help them realize that Everybody need to get involved, and we want everyone to know “Anybody Can Make a Difference, if We Can You Can Too“.
OMG will make a difference, there is no doubt in our minds. We have already seen what these two kids have accomplished. We want the organization to grow and for our message to inspire other to action. carter and Olivia someday want to be Veterinarians (which they undoubtably will) and they want to own and run the largest animal rescue in the world, and we are convinced they will accomplish that small task as well. Nothing is impossible in the eyes of a child, and as long as we parents realize that, we might just l;earn something along the way.