Wareham girl makes crafts to ‘save the animals’

Jan 27, 2020

Nine-year-old Natalie Kearns was looking to get involved in arts and crafts, and when she heard about the bushfires in Australia, she decided that she would make something to help the millions of animals that were affected by the disaster. 

Since Jan. 14, the fourth grader at Minot Forest Elementary School has been making and selling koala-themed bookmarks for $1 each, with 100% of the proceeds going to World Wildlife Fund’s Australian Wildlife and Nature Recovery Fund. On Monday, Jan. 27 she sent in a total of $537 United States Dollars, which equates to about 778 Australian Dollars. 

She sold about 200 of the bookmarks, and the remainder of the money came from donations. 

Many of the donations and purchases were local, but others came from places as far as Florida and California. Kearns mailed postcards with thank you notes for people who contributed from a distance. 

When asked about what motivated her to start her project, Kearns said she “wanted to save the animals” and that she “felt bad because they would have to survive [after the fires.]” 

At first, she said it was difficult to make the bookmarks, but as time went on it became an easier process. She said that her favorite part of making the bookmarks is drawing in the koala’s eyes with a marker.

The young craft-maker’s mother, Jennifer Kearns, said that she was proud of her daughter for taking on the project by herself, and turning her idea into a reality. 

She added that they collected donations “basically by word of mouth” in the form of cash, checks, and Venmo payments. 

Heather Sweet, a teacher at a private school in California took interest in Kearns’ project, and will have her class make and sell their own bookmarks to help animals affected by the Australian bushfires. 

To learn more about the World Wildlife Fund, visit: https://www.wwf.org.au/#gs.uq313l.