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Lauren and Sarah's 


from Pennsylvania

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Statement of purpose

Each year, fifty million acres of rainforests are destroyed. As surprising as that may be, it is true. Fifty million Acres is the size of England, Wales and Scotland combined. Tropical rainforests are the earth's oldest living ecosystem. Without them, we would not have one fourth of our medicines, such as medications used for leukemia, hodgkin's disease, heart ailments, hypertension, arthritis, and birth control.

Rainforests cover two percent of the earth's surface, but they house over half the plant and animal life on earth. The name 'rainforest' comes from the location of the forest, which is in the tropics, and the amount of rainfall the area receives. The average amount of rain is five meters in rainforests. It appears to be obvious that not enough is being done to save the rainforests, and too much is being done to destroy it.

The soil in the rainforest is not useful to man, in that crops don't grow that well in it. So when we're cutting the rainforest down, the soil that's left erodes very quickly and soon leaves only a dry, desert looking piece of abandoned land.

Throughout the world, there are over one thousand indigenous groups that live in the rainforest. When men go to destroy the rainforests, they also kick these people out of their homes and leave them no place to live. Unlike us, they aren't trying at all to harm the rainforest yet they lose their home.

Many foods that we are used to eating were established in the rainforestsm such as: avocado, banana, black pepper, coffee, cola, vanilla, lemon, orange, sugar, tomato, cinnamon, and eggplant. When man cuts the rainforest down, all the carbon reserves in the rainforest get released into the atmosphere, thus being the second largest factor contributing to the greenhouse effect.

As you can tell, my interest is very much into the rainforests. I don't understand how people are allowed to just destroy it when it is that important to us. Rainforests are the home of about five million animal species and one third of all Identified plant species. Based on the information that i have stated, why would anyone want to intervene with that? Maybe because man is so greedy that he needs to have whatever he wants. Maybe he thinks it would be better to take some resources for themselves, who knows?

Based on that information, here is my statement of Purpose: throughout the year, i will try my hardest to raise money to protect as many acres as possible, and also educate people as to what they can do to reduce the destruction of the rainforests. In the second semester, i will be helping a teacher In the middle school teach her class. I plan on educating the students on how important it is to care about our world, and the rainforests.

Problems encountered

Some difficulties we ran into while completing this project were rejection and the fact that every donation counts, but we wanted to raise so much money that we would get disappointed each time we found out how much money we collected. Some people either don't care, or maybe they do care and have helped the rainforest before. It is kind of frustrating having people walk by you when you're asking for donations and they pretend they don't hear you.

Also, while we were figuring out where to collect money, we had to receive permission from either an owner or manager of the store. We ran into some difficulty with approval with our project. In the past, kids have claimed to be raising money for a cause and never actually donated the money to the cause. Therefore, some businesses were skeptical about allowing two teenage girls to collect money. Luckily, we did find enough places to place donation cups and to raise money.

Although we were concerned about the current status of the rainforest, we realized that not everyone was. We thought that such a good cause would attract people to donate money, But we didn't get the results that we expected at first. Since we allowed ourselves time to collect money, we were able to get a good amount of money by the end.

Chronological description

We will be fundraising through RIC (Rainforest Information Centre). (the Rainforest Information Centre). RIC was founded in 1981 and is devoted to preserving the rainforests and its human and animal inhabitants. In 1987, RIC worked with the Rainforest Action Network to lead a nationwide boycott of Burger King because they were importing their beef from Central American rainforests. Their sales dropped 12% during the boycott, and Burger King cancelled 35 million dollars worth of beef contracts. In order to keep the public's interest about rainforest preservation, they must be relentless.

Our goal is to be able to preserve at least two acres of land. But the more money we receive, the more land we can preserve. Although RIC is used to receiving large donations, Ruth (our mentor) was so excited to hear that we wanted to help. She sent us various information packets on the rainforest and RIC's mission.

We also received a video that we could show at our fund-raisers to encourage donations. To raise money for this, first we put little buckets at grocery stores, Lankenau hospital, the Philadelphia airport, local businesses, and offices. So when people end up with spare change that's weighing them down, and they see such a good cause, they donate it to us. We found that we received more money just leaving the buckets there, versus standing there. After people have completed transactions they tend to just put their money in the buckets.

We also received food donations from local stores and arranged a bake sale. Since we received all the ingredients at no cost, everything was profit. Our bake sale was very beneficial as well. We made cupcakes, brownies, cookies and rice crispy treats and charged seventy five cents for each item. We raised about fifty dollars with our bake sale.

My goal is really to get enough money to protect three acres of land, but i don't want to think unreasonably and then end up disappointed. I just hope that people understand that they can help save the rainforests, even if they don't realize how big of a problem it is.

There are six major things that you can do to save the Rainforests:

* Reduce your paper and wood use;

*Reduce oil consumption;

* Reduce beef consumption;

* Hold businesses accountable;

* Invest in rainforest communities; and

* Support the Grassroot networks. In 1999, Home Depot agreed to not sell old growth wood. After 600 demonstrations of why people shouldn't buy that wood, Home Depot finally agreed to not carry it because of the grassrootss hard work.

The reason we chose RIC's Save-An-Acre program is very simple. Other rainforest organizations have adopt an Acre or something to that sort, which sound the same as Protect an acre, yet has major differences. Contributions to an Adopt an acre campaign, would consist of raising money, and donating it to them. In turn, they would go to the rainforest, kick out all of the human inhabitants that live in the acre of Forest and leave them to be homeless. RIC, however, protects an acre from being destroyed by man, but allows the indian inhabitants that have been there for as long as we have known about the rainforests, to stay.

After we raised money with collecting it in cans, we asked family members and friends to donate some money as well. At the end of all out activities to collect money and donations from family and friends, we had $160.00. Then me and sarah added the difference so we could protect 3 acres.