Lots of people felt desperate when they heard about the devastation of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Few of them were able to channel that feeling into motivation to act like Olivia Bouler.
The 11 year-old spent a lot of time near the Gulf growing up, watching birds near her grandparents’ home in Alabama, and was troubled by the photos of oil-soaked pelicans and other seabirds she saw in the media.
“I just wanted to help out,” Olivia Bouler told the Huffington Post. “So I came up with this idea.”
She immediately wrote a letter to the Audobon society offering her humble services:
Dear Audubon Society:
As you all are aware of, the oil spill in the Gulf is devistating (sic). My mom has already donated a lot of money to help, but I have an idea that may also help. I am a decent drawer, and I was wondering if I could sell some bird paintings and give the profits to your organization.
Bouler would eventually create 500 original drawings of birds, and anyone who donated money to the wildlife recovery efforts in the Gulf would get one.
To her family’s surprise, the drawings sold out within three weeks. Soon, Olivia had to switch to prints.
Since that time, Bouler’s efforts have raised over $175,000 for new wildlife center at Moss Point, and earned her the title of 2010′s Kid of the Year by the ASPCA. To date, she has drawn over 100 different species of birds and created over 500 paintings for her Save the Gulf campaign.
Encouraged by the demand for her work, the young artist wrote a book, Olivia’s Birds, which provides unique introduction to backyard and endangered birds, features her hand-drawn illustrations, bird facts, and full-color photos celebrating the campaign.
Proceeds from the book support Audubon’s conservation mission, including Gulf Coast cleanup efforts.
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Image Credit: Audubon Society and Olivia Bouler