I received an email a few weeks ago from the librarian at Nobleboro Central School. The fifth grade students there spent the year selling items that range from pencil erasers to bubbles to “locker buddies” and more in their school store. Now that the school year is over, they got to choose where to donate their profits. This year, the class chose to donate their money to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) in order to help with their clean up of wildlife, like sea turtles and pelicans, affected by the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Since the Natural Resources Council of Maine is the state’s affiliate of NWF, we were asked if someone from NRCM could come accept the check from the students and thank them for their donation.
I was delighted to be able to go to Nobleboro on Tuesday morning to thank the students, read an award of appreciation and letter from NWF, and accept their giant $300 check (I came back to NRCM to ask our bookkeeper if she could start paying me my salary on a giant check…it seemed much more fun and exciting than a regular payroll stub!).
The students were very attentive while I talked about NRCM and the work we do to protect Maine’s air, water, forests, and public health. They were all sitting at their desks doing work on their laptops, so I talked briefly about Maine’s e-waste law and our work to protect Mainers from toxics in various toys and other household items. One boy in the front row raised his hand and asked if I had heard about the “McDonald’s cups.” I said that I had…that 12 million Shrek glasses had to be recalled because of toxic chemicals found in them. It was so great to see young students so aware of current events related to the environment!
I thanked them for their decision to use their money to help wildlife in the Gulf. We talked about how it’s important to help your friends and neighbors (and even your brothers and sisters…though that is sometimes harder!) nearby, but it is also important to help others (people and animals) around the country and around the world. We talked about how their gift was going to make a big difference to the wildlife clean up efforts along the Gulf Coast.
These students should be commended for their hard work and dedication to helping others. In years past, their school store funds have gone to local food pantries, animal shelters, and toward home heating assistance programs. This year, they decided to do what they can to help wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico. Way to go Nobleboro Central School! You are making a difference – here in Maine, and far away. I hope others are inspired by your good deeds and do all they can to help those affected by the disaster in the Gulf.