"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney
"You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Until he extends the circle of compassion to all living creatures, man himself will not find peace." ~ Albert Schweitzer
Hello, my name is Taylor! I am 19 years old and from North Carolina, and am raising money for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Chiang Mai, Thailand this December 2012. I will be traveling for two weeks with Global Vision International (GVI), a world-renowned volunteer organization, to help and care for the endangered Asian elephant population.
There are currently less than 1,000 wild elephants in Thailand with 3,000 in captivity. While on the program, my job will be to help reintroduce elephants into their natural habitat. The elephants we work with have previously undergone horrors such as street begging and circus work, so my job is extremely important for their safety and well-being.
In addition to working with the elephants, I will have the opportunity to work closely with the local community. I will learn the Thai language as well as the local customs and traditional Thailand culture of the village where the program is based. I will also have the opportunity to share my own knowledge of English with the community members in order to give them an advantage in acquiring jobs to help them support their life in the forest.
The mission of this volunteering program is extremely important. The Asian elephants are in dire need of our help. Everyday they are subject to mistreatment by being forced to beg on the streets, work without proper nourishment or care in harsh conditions, and participate in damaging and deadly displays of entertainment for tourists. Because of all this, loss of habitat, conflict with humans, and poaching, the wild Asian elephant population has been reduced to only 30,000.
My whole life I have been passionate and dedicated to animal rights. The work I do on this project will truly make a difference in the life of the elephants of Thailand, a species that is crying out to us for help. The fact that I get to do this important work, as well as have the chance to learn and grow from the beautiful culture and people of Thailand is perfect.
Though I anticipate this journey will be difficult, with several of the most challenging weeks of my life, I am committed to this cause and resolute about being a part of this GVI expedition. I have no doubt such a journey will change me in ways I cannot imagine, but I know it will be for the better. It will truly be the experience of a lifetime.
However, I can’t do it without your help. I know times are very hard, with so many people and organizations in need of funding for many worthy causes and issues. But, please -- if you can -- donate any amount that you are able. If you love wildlife and want to be part of making my dream to help others come true, know that every dollar is appreciated more than I can say. The Asian elephants, the Thailand community, and I will be forever grateful to you.
I'm working to create fundraising merchandise which you will hopefully like enough -- of various price ranges -- to purchase and which will help raise funds for my trip. However you are able to help -- whether it's purchasing something from the fundraiser, offering a donation, offering advice or support -- will be MOST appreciated. Thank you.
For more information on GVI's Thailand Elephant Conservation Program, please click here to visit the GVI website. The targeted fundraising amount is taking into account not only GVI's program fees, but airfare and other expenses to get me to Thailand.
HERE ARE THREE WAYS TO HELP ME RAISE MONEY:
1. Please see fundraising "widget" below which you can use to send money directly.
2. TWO FUNDRAISING AUCTIONS here at Wishadoo:
A) Selling/auctioning my parents' china which was never used and it's now worth quite a bit! -- CLICK HERE to see this listing in the marketplace
B) Auctioning a large canvas print of the beautiful elephant design below! -- CLICK HERE to see the canvas print auction
3. Please visit Wishadoo's fundraising section at CafePress. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these elephant-themed items will be donated to my fundraiser. The merchandise is based on this original Wishadoo Creations' design:
In case the widget is still having technical difficulties, here is the PayPal email address: firstname.lastname@example.org