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As a nature lover, animal lover, and jewelry store owner, I read a National Geographic article recently, Sapphire Mining Fuels Lemur Deaths in Madagascar, and watched a documentary, “Island of Lemurs” by IMAX, and both upset me terribly about what is happening on the island of Madagascar and how the illegal gemstone mining is having a huge affect on deforestation, thus the lemur population, which has now become the most threatened group of mammals in the world. While the IMAX movie doesn’t state gemstone mining as a reason for the deforestation, the article definitely ties two and two together.
The average per capita income in Madagascar is $260.00 which makes it one of the poorest countries in the world. Approximately 70% of its population are living below poverty line and almost half of its children below five years old are malnourished. The illegal gem mining is part of what is feeding and taking care of the families in this country, so I can see why it’s difficult for the government to get involved in stopping it. Since there is little regulation or governing to guard against the illegal mining activities or deforestation, there is another way to help.
The Omaha Zoo Foundation began a non-profit entity in 2010 that they support called the Madagascar Biodiversity Project, https://madagascarpartnership.org. The Director, Dr. Louis began working in Madagascar in 1998, initially focusing on exploring biodiversity throughout the island. After 11 years, his work began to shift as he started using his research to solve real world problems in Madagascar. Their goal is working with the local communities to help restore and protect Madagascar's remaining forests and diverse wildlife, while creating innovative solutions to some of Madagascar's toughest challenges- so that nature and people can thrive together. One part of their mission is reforestation, and since their start in 2010, they have planted over 2.6 million new trees! (Count as of June 2019) To read about many of the ways the MBP is helping in Madagascar: https://madagascarpartnership.org/about-2/education-promoting-reforestation-project/.
I recently purchased a stone at the Tucson Gem Show for a customer. Its origin was Madagascar. I now wonder if it was an illegally mined stone and I feel saddened by my contribution to the lemurs demise while also knowing the sale of the stone may have helped provide for a family. These mixed emotions can be somewhat curbed if I know there is something I can do to help. The MBP is the solution.
This is just one of the many causes that we donate to in order to help make a difference in the world we live in.
If you or someone you know would like to donate to this cause personally, follow the link above. Be sure to use the drop down menu designating funds to Madagascar Biodiversity Project.
A Snapshot of MBP's Work from Brittani Robertson on Vimeo.
United Services for Children is a nonprofit organization that provides pediatric therapy and early intervention services to children of all abilities, and offers support services for their families. They focus on children ages birth through 8 years old and their families. The center is located at 4140 Old Mill Parkway in St. Peters, serving approximately 150 - 200 children annually since 1975.
I've been on the Board of Directors for this organization for over 12 years and also serve on their Blue Ribbon Committee for their gala each year to help raise funds for this amazing organization.
A portion of every purchase goes toward helping these children and their families in our community.
To give personally or learn more, go to their website:
United Services for Children Website
Established in 1992, the MOSAICS Fine Art Festival Association was established to create and foster diversity and vitality of the arts and to broaden the availability, education, participation and appreciation of the arts throughout the community through the formulation of an Art Festival. We present a professional exhibition to show case the local and regional artists, while also stimulating and educating the community. The MOSAICS Fine Art Festival has an interesting diversity of artwork produced by a mix of emerging, mid-career and established artists in all media.
The MOSAICS Fine Art Festival is unique in its approach to educating children and adults in how art can enhance their lives. To the community, our program offers cultural advantages and great places for families to live, learn, and play, free of charge.
We now offer a new exhibit and scholarship opportunity for high school students that are aspiring artists to enter their work into the festival beginning in 2019. In honor of our founder Joyce Rosen, we want to encourage these young artists to continue in their talents.
I am on the Board of Directors for this organization since 2018 and also manage the scholarship exhibit for the high school students.
If you would like to learn more about this organization or get involved, please follow this link:
Mosaics Web Site
We fight the big fights to end suffering for all animals. Together with millions of supporters, we take on puppy mills, factory farms, trophy hunts, animal testing and other cruel industries. With our affiliates, we rescue and care for thousands of animals every year through our animal rescue team’s work and other hands-on animal care services. We fight all forms of animal cruelty to achieve the vision behind our name: A humane society. And we can’t do it without you.
Humane Society Website
Providing young student athletes in the state of Missouri who suffer permanent disabling injuries the special equipment, resources and support they need to best overcome their physical limitations and confidently work toward a successful adulthood.
Missouri Kids Website
The Kevin Richardson Foundation is a non-profit conservation organisation with nature’s most majestic creature, the lion, at its heart. Launched in early 2018 the foundation is committed to changing and reversing the state of Africa’s declining lion population by purchasing habitat and raising awareness to create safe, natural spaces where lions and other native species can flourish. By partnering with specialised organisations and engaging with impoverished communities on the fringes of these protected areas, the foundation also aims to minimise human/wildlife conflict whilst improving living conditions for local villages.
The Lion Whisperer Website
We do support other charitable causes throughout each year. If you have a request or would like our help with an organization that is close to your heart, please fill out the donation request form (click below) and we will consider helping.
As you can imagine, we are inundated with requests, and cannot help with every cause that we are asked to contribute to, so if we are not able to help with your request, we hope you will understand and try us again next year.
Fill Out Donation Request Form
We have jewelry professionals ready to help.
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