It's been a little while since I last posted here. I've been very busy fundraising since starting almost three months ago. It's been a phenomenal journey thus far, putting an end to the idea that one can't give their full attention to activism. It merely takes dedication to one's cause, treating it as a full time occupation and making no qualms about affording basic expenses such as food and shelter during the fundraising period.
It has been essential to adapt to the many situations that have come up. Complications with weather and location have arisen but instead of hindering my fundraising efforts I've taken these situations as new opportunities. I've spent each day over the last few months doing bottle drives, selling watermelon, energy balls, and baked goods, tabling at sustainable events throughout my community, and selling paintings that I've completed. It's been a very valuable learning experience. I was always told by fellow activists that one could never dedicate all of their time to their cause. There were always obstacles in their way. It's been freeing to overcome these obstacles. I've been able to raise enough funds to travel to Taiji, some days more successful than others. Bottle driving, an idea passed to me by fellow Cove Guardians Marley and Carisa, also proved to be an excellent opportunity to educate others about the dolphin slaughter in Taiji. Derek Howlett, a friend of mine very generously built a prototype bamboo trailer for bottle driving purposes. Not only did this provide a more sustainable option, but brought quite a bit of attention to my fundraising efforts. You can view Derek's innovative ideas at www.derekhowlett.com.
In just under 3 months I collected over 21,000 bottles and cans. I afforded my food and shelter expenses, helped out other Cove Guardians, and have raised funds towards upcoming campaigns occurring after Taiji.
I am currently visiting with family before extended volunteer travels. I will be leaving for Taiji as a Cove Guardian at the end of October and heading to Australia afterwards to help the Sea Shepherd ships prepare for their departure to Antarctica.
Here are a couple photos of paintings that I have sold over these past months. I am hoping to complete other paintings while in Australia to fund further causes.
I want to thank the many individuals and businesses who have assisted me through donating their bottles, purchasing paintings, energy balls, and watermelon for my efforts for the dolphins. Zen Zero, Courtenay Pet Center, Crown Isle, Cona Hostel, Two Eagles Lodge, Freakin' Coffee Shop, Roots Salon, Cascadian Crusaders, The Peaceful Direct Action Coalition and the many organizations involved - Thank you!
I will keep you all updated as soon as I leave for Taiji. I will be joining Rosie and blogging regularly about the dolphin slaughter. It's important that we forget not the horrors that occur in Taiji, Japan. It is easy to allow each day to blend into the next, forgetting about the individual lives lost, the families torn apart. We must renew the passion and fire each time dolphins are driven into the cove, chosen for captivity, and slaughtered.
For the Oceans,