December 2019 ELetter

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Kindness Stories -
We all know the earth needs more kindness
Maris and Maris
You never know where a phone call will lead. My name is Anitha Robinson and a few weeks ago, I called, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the ocean and its inhabitants. I was interested in gathering information as part of my research for a children's book I’m working on. I was beyond thrilled to speak with the co-founder herself, Maris Sidenstecker II. Not only did Maris generously spend time answering my questions, she agreed to let me share her story. I think you’ll find her as inspiring as I do.
The first thing I noticed while speaking with Maris, was her passion for whales. It was this passion that drove her to start Save The Whales when she was 14, and it’s this same passion that years later, continues to drive her to do all she can to help these beautiful animals survive.
But Maris’ love for animals is not limited to these gentle giants. She has always defended and protected animals of all sizes. As a first grader, she led a team of friends to pick up earth-worms in the schoolyard after it had rained, so boys couldn’t step on them. She rescued injured snails and fed them in a terrarium so their shells could mend and then she released them.
Ever since then, Maris has helped as many animals as possible. She grew up in a home with rescued cats, newts, lizards, a fish, turtle, and a dog. As a pre-teen she wrote letters to dog food companies asking them not to slaughter wild horses for dog food. It’s not surprising that Maris wanted to become a veterinarian. However, as often is the case, life happens and plans change.
When Maris was 14 she read an article on a flight from Los Angeles to Boston. It was about a pregnant blue whale who had suffered on a dock for several days before dying. The article, written by Joan McIntyre, the director of a nonprofit organization called Project Jonah, deeply upset Maris, but also ignited her call to action. Maris wanted people to know what was happening to whales, so she designed a T-shirt with a blue whale and three simple words: “Save The Whales.” Maris had no idea that this T-shirt would change her life.

To learn more about how Save The Whales began and continues to this day.
The above photo is of the founders Mother and Daughter, Maris1 and Maris2.
Reviews on What
Save The Whales
Programs Accomplish
Teacher Amanda Good, demonstrates in Dee
how plastic can clog a whale's throat.
"T he Save The Whales program has become part of our Frank Ledesma Elementary School’s family," said Richard Radtke, principal of Frank Ledesma School.The school is located in Soledad, CA.The in-class programs and outdoor field trips continue to lay a strong foundation for encouraging successful learning and building positive attitudes that can subsequently lead to improvements ,not only in environmental stewardship, but in student academic achievement and motivation.
"While the geographic distance between Monterey Bay and Soledad is relatively short, the cultural distance is long; many of the children in our school have never been to the ocean, and have little to no under-standing of their connection with the coast."
What the teachers say:

“The students were engaged in climbing, touching, feeling the exterior and interior of a ‘real’ whale. It brought the concepts of recycling and pollution into reality with the use of Dee the whale so that they could fully experience (both inside and outside). Students remembered the content presented in an earlier Save The Whales program and applied that knowledge when meeting Dee.“
Amy Bowen, 4th Grade Teacher, Frank Ledesma Elementary

“Every student was fully engaged and attentive. Every part of the presentation helped students learn about whales because of the hands-on and strong presentations with student participation components throughout the program. Unlike textbook-based learning, the hands-on experience help students retain and internalize learning. The most valuable aspect of this program is that students are beginning to take ownership of what they have learned. I believe that the students will become caretakers of the ocean.“
Sung Shin, 5th Grade Teacher, Frank Ledesma Elementary

To read more reviews on Save The Whales, go to the yellow button at bottom of article marked "2019 Top Rated."
Products in Whale Store
For Holiday Giving
The original Save The Whales
T-shirt with blue whale and
Save The Whales displayed.
All tiles are 6″x6″ and are made by a
30-year-old family business in the USA.
This charming stuffed turtle is loved by children and adults.
Want to Give a Donation?
Make a contribution to Save The Whales via Monterey Gives! and the best part is you don't have to live in Monterey, or even close, to have your contribution be a prorated match by Monterey Gives! Please share with others who may want to contribute. 
Donate by December 31, 2019, because this means more money will support our mission to preserve and protect the ocean and its inhabitants.
Save The Whales, 1192 Waring Street, Seaside, CA 93955