Friday, May 14, 2010

People Making a Difference

We're in the final stretch of Lost, but I'm hoping you'll let me talk about something non-Lost for a minute... something very important, actually.

A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post about the extraordinary son of a friend of mine, James Brooks. At the age of 10 he was eschewing birthday gifts and organizing fundraisers to raise money for the endangered bonobo ape in Africa. From there he developed the Ape Aware website, devoted to saving the apes from being hunted to eventual extinction. He then expanded his efforts when he learned about what was happening in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, and he founded 1000Classrooms , where he goes to classrooms and tries to get children to raise funds so the widows of slain park rangers can buy eggs to sell so they can support their families. To date, he has raised enough money for 25,000 eggs, has educated people on ape preservation, and has met with Jane Goodall. He is one incredible kid.

And now the Me to We organization is offering awards for young people raising social awareness, and I'm asking you, gentle readers, to take a couple of minutes and go vote for James. The winner will get $5000 to be given to the charity of their choice, and that will buy an AWFUL lot of eggs for those widows and allow James to spread the word of ape preservation far and wide.

Please take a minute to go here and vote before May 27. James is in the 13-17 age category. Be sure, while you're there, to read what people have done in the other categories and cast your votes all around (it will really put a smile on your face to see the extraordinary efforts of these people!). Once you've cast your vote, you simply write your name and email address. An email will be sent to you, you'll confirm your vote by clicking the button, and voila, you're done.

Here is the appeal directly from James. I hope you can find the time to do this for him. Thank you!!

I am James and I am 13 years old and I really hope you can vote for me for the 2010 “Youth in Action ME to WE Award.” I am one of three finalists in my category and the winner will be decided by an online vote from May 13-27, 2010.

I have done all I can to help apes and the people who live near them. My 1000classrooms project gives an income to widows of Park Rangers who have been killed protecting gorillas in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; feeds hungry children; protects endangered gorillas; and saves their rain forest habitat. Also, it educates 1000’s of Canadian kids about the threats to people, animals, and the environment in Africa. You can read more if you visit

I really want to win this award because there will be a $5000 donation to a charity of my choice and the widows, kids, and gorillas REALLY need our help. Also, it will get more attention to the horrors in the Congo and raise even more money. Your vote could save lives! Also, I think ME to WE is a great organization.

Thank you for considering voting for me. PLEASE PASS THIS ON TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS WHO MIGHT VOTE!


humanebean said...

Done - go James! Thanks for sharing this with us, Nik.

Missing Georgia said...

Thanks for sharing this Nikki. It is important to recognize others that give of themselves in such unselfish ways. How amazing that he has already learned this at such a young age.

The Chapati Kid said...

Done. And wow. If I were half the person he is, I'd be so happy. What an inspiration to youth around the world. I'm definitely sharing this...

TM Lawrence said...

Done. James is off to an amazing start. Thanks for sharing the cause with us Nik.

The Question Mark said...

Just finished casting the vote now.
Good luck, James!

Matthew Karns said...

Done. Anyone who act unselfishly for their fellow creatures gets my vote!

Gracie said...

Done. I'm honored to vote for him considering what he's doing and at such a young age!

While it is amazing to see children getting involved at an earlier age these days, isn't it also sad that there are things out there that kids even need to be made aware of? Sometimes kids aren't even kids anymore!

But when I see one like this, how can I not give them a tribute when they so obviously deserve it?

Somehow let us know if he wins Nikki!

JW said...

Check! Another vote for James :)

Rainier said...

Done. This is indeed an exceptional kid, and all of the other people listed in the various categories are exceptional as well. Would that I could help every one of them get the money; all are worthy causes.

Thanks for raising awareness, Nikki!