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One More Generation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of endangered species. They work with various agencies around the world seeking to provide the almost 1,000 species currently listed as Endangered or on the Threatened list with the resources needed to ensure they survive at least One More Generation… and beyond.
Most elementary school kids are busy playing in the park or watching TV on the weekends. But for two students of the Fayette Montessori School in Fayetteville, Ga., their leisure time is a little different.
Carter Ries (age 9.5) and his sister Olivia (age 8) are both extremely passionate about animals and conservation. In fact, they're so enthusiastic about wanting to make a difference, they founded their own nonprofit.
The brother and sister team have been adopting cheetahs from The Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Center in South Africa for 3 years. They decided to adopt cheetahs because they liked the animals and cheetahs will be extinct soon if people don't help.
Then in September 2009 they received a letter from the Center - their cheetah program needed more money and donor memberships would have to increase to address the shortfall. Carter and Olivia were really upset that so many animals needed saving and that money was an issue. "It hurt our hearts to hear that animals were about to be extinct," says Olivia.
To console his children, their Dad said that a great way to help is to start their own organization one day to help save animals and raise money.
But one day turned into right now.
Those words struck a chord with Carter and Olivia and the very next day they started researching how they could create their own nonprofit organization. "We want our children to see these animals, and their children to see these animals," says Carter.
"OMG (oh my God)!" Carter and Olivia kept repeating the phrase during their online research - they couldn't believe how many animals out there were endangered and needed saving. The slang term stuck in their minds, and they named their organization "One More Generation," or "OMG."
OMG was set up to help ensure all endangered species survive at least One More Generation...and beyond. It became a registered nonprofit in January 2010 and has since been involved with a huge number of projects locally and globally. The kids just returned from 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 watch a video on their website.
For Carter's 9th birthday he asked his friends to donate money to OMG instead of giving him gifts. The birthday party raised $195 and the money was sent to organizations who support each donor's favorite species. The kids may be young but they are passionate, selfless and committed to their organization - it's not a passing fad for them.
The Carter and Olivia's dedication to conservation has made them national stars. Nominated for the Nestles Heroes Contest, a competition which rewards kids making a positive difference in their communities, they were one of only 50 winners in the whole country. Straight away Carter and Olivia shared the prize, an ice-cream party for 50 friends, with their classmates.
What's next for Carter, Olivia, and OMG? Here are a few upcoming projects:
They're aiming to raise $50,000 for the Cheetah Rescue program run by The Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Center by the end of 2010.
They're working with their state legislature in an effort to stop the Rattlesnake Roundups in Georgia. So far these two young students have collected over 1,100 signatures for this petition.
They're meeting with Deputy District Director Andy Bush to discuss the support needed for HR14, which covers ocean acidification.
Carter and Olivia show us that anyone can make a difference and that any contribution, large or small, young or old, counts.