Celebrating our donors: Three stories that will give you hope for our planet’s future

I’m Olivia Gorys and, as a donor relations coordinator at WWF-Canada, I have the privilege of hearing from generous and caring donors who are turning their passion for nature and wildlife into action.

Concern for the future of the planet is higher than ever, and it can be all too easy for “climate doomism” to take hold.

So, as WWF-Canada celebrates our donor appreciation week, I want to share some of their stories with you, stories that break through the bad news, touch our hearts and fill us with hope.

And I hope you’ll find them as inspiring as I do.

Rosemary’s Garden

Rosemary's native plant garden
Rosemary’s garden has grown into a beautiful oasis with native trees, shrubs, and a canopy to sit under in the warmer seasons.

Rosemary Pauer, now 85, has been captivated by the countryside since she was a small child listening to Out with Romany on BBC Children’s Hour. Growing up in a large industrial city in the north of England, she says the naturalist radio show “took me into the woods and along the streams of an England I never encountered, and fostered a deep love for all wild things.”

After immigrating to Canada, Rosemary found a lot more wild things to fall in love with — even in suburbia where she started her native plant garden nearly 50 years ago.

Having watched this “tiny plot develop into a real woodland garden with native trees, shrubs, and no grass at all,” Rosemary could not be prouder of her oasis for local animals and insects. But sadly, she’s noticed a decline in the number of birds that visit her garden.

“All over the world wild creatures are at risk and losing ground, so I will support the WWF as long as I can,” says Rosemary, a monthly donor since 1989 and member of our Legacy Circle.

“We need songbirds and wild animals in our lives more than ever right now and their loss diminishes us all.”

Emma crosses the fin-ish line for marine life

Emma dressed as a shark with family and friends
Emma dressed like a shark to raise awareness about the decline of ocean life.

Emma Beltrano was always taught to love the Earth and have empathy for all living things. As a kid, she’d rescue bugs from the pool, put fallen bird nests back in trees, and bring home injured animals.

Now she passes down these same values to her own family. “WWF is so important for kids to be involved in so that they take part in the efforts to maintain and protect the planet and the species who call it home,” says Emma.

One way she gets her family engaged is by having them collect litter along trails when hiking through the forest to watch waterfalls and wildlife.

Another way she has tried to get people of all ages engaged is by running a marathon last fall dressed as a shark to raise awareness about declining ocean life. Emma’s efforts resulted in $2,430 in donations for WWF-Canada’s conservation work and she’s already planning which species to dress up as for her next marathon.

Cameron’s special birthday gift

Cameron holding up a picture of the earth and a fundraising thermometer
Cam’s Climate Fund raised $1,000.

Cameron Cheah loves reading about wildlife, and his favourite animals are lions and tigers. (A fantastic choice — tigers are one of my favourites, too!)

He even made himself a list of “things I need to stop” — and global warming was number one.

Determined, Cameron made small changes to his lifestyle, like using fewer napkins at dinner and using both sides of the paper when he draws.

The best part of it all: he is only five years old!

In fact, for his fifth birthday, Cameron decided to donate to an organization that takes care of our planet. So in lieu of gifts, Cameron’s friends and family raised a total of $1,000 for WWF-Canada. What a kid!

So you see, there is hope.

At WWF-Canada, we could not do this crucial work without donors who share our desire to create a positive and lasting impact for nature and people.

On behalf of the Donor Relations team and everyone here at WWF-Canada, THANK YOU!