We at Mazu love our communities and want to highlight and support the amazing initiatives they are working towards. These communities provide education, inspiration and stories that are promoting good within the Mazu app and hopefully around the world!
About Gorilla Heroes
One of our most recent additions to the Mazu communities is Gorilla Heroes. Based out of Germantown Maryland, 10 year old Addy Barrett has been tirelessly working to raise awareness and funds for animal welfare ever since she was 7 years old. She has a drive for change and has created an incredible movement of conservation towards endangered mountain gorillas.
Mountain gorilla populations are in dire condition, with as little as 800 individual gorillas in the wild. One of the primary threats facing mountain gorillas is forest degradation, caused by human activity. The loss of habitat and poaching has contributed to the declining population of mountain gorillas, and has put them on the world’s most endangered animals list. Conservation experts believe engaging local communities and people across the world in conservation efforts is essential in protecting the areas in which gorillas live in.
Addy’s passion for conservation and love for mountain gorillas began when she was in first grade after she read a book about endangered mountain gorillas. It came as a shock and saddened her to learn that there were endangered animals in need of protection in the world. This sparked a fire in Addy and started her on her journey in creating Gorilla Heroes.
Soon after, Addy wanted to take action and start a campaign that would help them. She started out small by creating posters, bake sales, hosting lemonade stands, and most recently selling custom t-shirts in hopes of raising awareness and funds for mountain gorillas and similar conservation efforts. Addy along with her mother Sarah Barrett, friends, and family have been raising money and awareness for the declining population of the mountain gorillas ever since.
Addy has been able to raise $3,225 in which she has donated to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and the Ellen Degeneres Wildlife Fund. As a fun way to attract donations, Gorilla Heroes introduced the Pie Face Challenge in which someone in Addy’s family would get a pie to the face when someone made a donation.
The success that Gorilla Heroes has had recently has also attracted the attention of Gorilla conservation organizations such as the Dian Fossey Gorilla fund as well as the Ellen Degeneres Wildlife Fund. Addy was star stuck when meeting David Singer, a member of DFGF’s board of directors, and managed to get a few souvenirs from Rwanda. Singer also participated in a Gorilla Heroes Pie Face Challenge, and both Addy and Singer were pied in the face.
Whats next on the agenda for the young conservation activist? Addy’s next campaign will be happening on World Gorilla Day which is coming up on September 24th. World Gorilla Day highlights conservation efforts and celebrates gorillas living in the wild, and offers and opportunity to get people around the world talking about the declining gorilla population. Addy will be challenging her followers to take part in their Gorilla Pie-Face Challenge and nominate someone they know to get pied in the face. All proceeds raised by Gorilla Heroes will be donated to their favourite gorilla organizations.
Addy’s vision and efforts are a prime example that kids are capable of anything if they put their minds to it. She hopes to inspire other kids her age to become passionate and educated about animal protection and find ways they can help support endangered animals.