Friday, September 17, 2010
Olivia Bouler spent many vacations with family on the Gulf Coast and when she heard about the oil spill, birds were her first thought. With a deep love and understanding of them she knew many were going to suffer during migration and nesting season. As an aspiring ornithologist and active artist, she decided to merge the two interests and help. Initially, she was going to sell her bird illustrations to make money, but then soon decided that she would send her illustrations to anyone that donated- specifically to the National Audubon Society.
I thought she was just so cute and compassionate and I really loved her willingness to take action. But as a serial thinker, I couldn’t help to notice other thoughts flowing in. I started to think that a child’s drive, enthusiasm and sincerity in their words are so important for adults to witness. In many cases, their young minds are not tainted with fears and bad messages, so they live in the moment and do what they love. Thousands and thousands of people have connected to this little girl and I usually think it’s for more reasons than one.
I was definitely inspired, intrigued and compelled to reach out…
1.You are inspiring so many people at such a young age, how does that make you feel?
“I'm really excited to show everyone that if I can do it, they can do it!”
2.Many adults tend to have an idea and then not pursue it. Were you nervous when you contacted the National Audubon Society?
“I actually just wrote the letter and then my dad scanned it and emailed it to them for me. Then he first spoke to them. But I was nervous when I met their president Dr. Frank Gill. He gave me his book on ornithology and asked me to ring the closing bell at the stock exchange with him.”
3.What is the one thing you would like the world to start doing more of?
“Stop cutting down trees!! Birds need them for their nests and tend to return to the same places every year. And pesticides are bad for birds too, so we should use less of them!”
4.How many drawings have you done? And how much money have you personally raised for the society up to this point?
“500 drawings for the fundraiser and I'm working on others for a picture book. The fundraiser raised $175,000, most of which went to Audubon. At first we included four other organizations for people to donate to.”
*The drawings took her 4 full-months to complete*
5.Can you tell us everything that has transpired up to this point?
•Olivia has over 28,000 Fans on her Facebook fan page. http://bit.ly/8XZkTn
•She was honored by Congressman Steve Israel as a Hometown Hero.
•She organized a local fundraiser with her brother and was able to play the saxophone there with her band (another passion of hers).
•Olivia has been recruited by Disney’s Friends for Change/Project Green Program to film a public service announcement. Oh, and the video will include the Jonas Brothers, the cast from Camp Rock and will run on all of the Disney Channels.
•On September 18th, she will be presenting at the TEDxRedmond Conference at the Microsoft Convention Center in Seattle, Washington.
•She has been selected as an honoree for a Global Appreciation World of Colors Award (only 6 given out a year) from World Heritage Cultural Center.
•The Ellen Show, The Tonight Show and Rachel Ray have all expressed interest in booking her as a guest this upcoming fall.
•Etc. Etc. Etc.
As you can see, one compassionate idea has opened up a world of opportunities and her life will most likely never be the same. Her philanthropic efforts will surely continue to expand and I think the support she receives from her parents is wonderful!
It was not her age that led her here, or her innocence, it was just a belief that she could help the situation. She was right! Our personal thought process can make or break anything and when she said… if I can do it, anyone can – is a great reality check for us all.
If you would like to donate, please go here http://www.aolartists.com/projects/help-the-gulf/and then to receive your special print from Olivia, please send your donation receipt here - Oliviasbirds@aol.com
I can’t wait to receive mine!