11-Year-Old Who Raised $200,000 Is My New Hero

Sometimes children get a bad rap. They are "too loud" in restaurants or they run amok in public and cause people to shake their heads and blame "bad parenting" Of course, then there are 11 year olds like Olivia Bouler who managed to raise more than $200,000 for the Gulf Coast, which was devastated by last year's oil spill.

The little girl from Islip, New York knew she could not do much, but she also knew she had a special talent for art, so after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in April 2010, killing 11 people and spilling 5,000 barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico every day, Bouler decided to use her talent to help the area. She wrote to the Audubon Society who was working to save the animals in the area and she offered to draw photos for them. "I am a decent drawer," she told them.

And an idea was born.


When people donated to the Audubon society to help clean up the area, they received a drawing of one of the Gulf Coast birds that little Bouler created. All told, she made hundreds of them and raised more than $200,000.

When you have a child, you hope she will be smart and passionate, that she will embrace the things that matter and give of herself generously. You also hope she will have ambition, which this little girl so clearly does.

She wants to study ornithology (birds) at Cornell and says she fell in love with the Gulf Coast while visiting her grandparents in Alabama. She said:

I hope that the Gulf will be as beautiful as it was before the spill, and I hope that people will come together to make it that way.

A book was made of her drawings called Olivia's Birds: Saving the Gulf. Last summer, she was honored by Congressman Steve Israel as a Hometown Hero. She was also the ASPCA's 2010 Kid of the Year -- and did a PSA with the Jonas Brothers.

She deserves it all ... and more! She is truly an amazing little girl and if I were her parents, I would definitely give her extra dessert! They must be so proud.

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Image via Amazon

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