The t-shirt campaign was ending and about 18 shirts had sold. We wanted to do something to get people more excited to buy them, so I got the idea to get "pied" everytime someone bought a shirt or made a donation. This really worked! We made several pie videos (shown in the Pie Face Challenge of this website) and ended up selling an additional 18 shirts in the last week of the fundraiser! On the last day, some friends came over and I was pied 25 times! It was hilarious and messy!
Soon after the t-shirt campaign ended, my mom had posted about it on Twitter. A man named Dave Singer saw the posts and reached out to my mom to find out more. Within the first five minutes, my mom started beaming because Mr. Dave is a Board Member for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. He said that he was going to a meeting in Dallas and that he was going to mention me to all the people at the meeting. He also said that he lives locally, which means that he could probably meet me. I was really thrilled to hear that the Dian Fossey Fund would know about me and what I am doing.
About a week or so after talking to him for the first time, we had planned a day that we could meet each other. I couldn't stop smiling because I had accomplished my goal of putting myself out there. When he arrived he brought this bag that he said was full of "gorilla goodies." He pulled out a giant wooden hand-carved hiking stick that he used in Rwanda, two adorable little hand-carved gorilla figures, some cool note books for me and my sister from the Dallas Zoo, and last but not least, some gorilla coffee (Coffee made in Rwanda). He also gave me a copy of the latest Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Annual Report with lots of cool information and neat photographs. We also decided that it would be hilarious if we pied each other in the face, so we went out back and had fun with it. Check out our video!
Just a few days after Mr. Dave's visit, I received a special handwritten letter in the mail from Judith Harris, who is the Chair for the Fossey Fund. She told me how impressed she is to hear about my efforts to help the gorillas. This letter, along with the gifts that Mr. Dave brought me, will be something I will cherish forever.
My mom tells me that since I started this website in March, I have raised over $900 for gorilla conservation! I am very happy with what I have accomplished and I hope that this will inspire many kids that have a passion to make a difference. We are running the shirt fundraiser again (https://inktothepeople.com/gorillaheroes) and hoping to sell even more shirts and raise even more money for Fossey and also for the new Ellen DeGeneres campus, so stay tuned for more funny pie-face videos and for other fundraising ideas we have planned for this summer!
Finally, I want to thank the following people for buying a shirt* during THIS fundraiser campaign or making a direct donation:
Stephanie Bradley Green
Greta & Max Fitch