My name is Danielle, and I have the amazing opportunity to share with you a cause that holds a special place in my heart. But first! A little background… I was first introduced to Brenda, as her teaching assistant for a Jazz II class. And the rest is history! We became fast friends and quickly bonded over three common denominators; dance, tattoos, and animals. It was her never-ending compassion for all beings, that inspired me to become a vegetarian, and begin giving back to those who could not speak for themselves. But there were so many different (and equally important) causes out there, that choosing an organization to work with became a daunting task. Until Brenda offered to take me to the California Sea Shepherd headquarters in Venice Beach.
It was easy for me to fall in love with Sea Shepherd. As a huge fan of the Animal Planet sensation Whale Wars, I thought I knew what Sea Shepherd was all about. When in reality I knew very little. I had no idea what to expect when I first stepped inside headquarters. Brenda had invited my sister and I to come to a Whale Wars screening party to experience Sea Shepherd, and to help brainstorm fundraising ideas with Grace Ko, the head of the Sea Shepherd California chapter. Almost immediately, I knew that I wanted to be a part of Sea Shepherd. All I could think was; where do I sign up? After all, these were my people! Finally people who were just as passionate about wildlife as I was! People wanting to help, and willing to do just about anything to make a real impact on the health of our oceans and its creatures. I can honestly say that I was seconds away from asking; where have you been all my life?
After the screening I began researching all things Sea Shepherd related. Each campaign sparked an interest; Blue Fin Tuna, Harp Seals, Dolphins, Sea Turtles, Sea Sponges, Whales, devastation in the Gulf… If there is a species in crisis, Sea Shepherd is there to save the day. And not save the day with a giant check worth an x amount of dollars. No. There they are on the front lines of this “battle” to save our seas. From the icy waters of Antarctica to the tropical Galapagos Islands, these people are indeed “defending ocean wildlife worldwide”. So I knew it was my turn to do my part, I became an on shore volunteer. I signed up on the website (SeaShepherd.org) and then went to a new volunteer orientation meeting, at headquarters in Venice Beach. After the meeting, I felt well equipped and well-informed to go out into the world and share with anyone willing (and sometimes even not willing) to listen. Nevertheless, I had a new-found need to tell anyone about the incredible philosophies of this fantastic organization. If me telling strangers about the importance of oceanic wildlife is going to help somebody save an innocent creatures’ life, then I am more than willing to shout all about Sea Shepherd from mountain tops.
It is so simple. All it takes is the right information, the right cause, and the right action to truly make a difference in this world. And I firmly believe that Sea Shepherd Conservation Society is that difference that this world has looked for. A passionate group of people who are actively seeking and provoking a change for the better. Making people review the way they see animal rights and protection, and making people change the way they see compassion for ALL BEINGS. After all compassion is infectious. Hopefully in time, the oceans and their wildlife will return to full health, and I am sure that the Sea Shepherd will be responsible for that victory.
Both the Love Infinitely Project and Sea Shepherd have been extremely inspiring for me. I hope that you have found both inspiring also! I have learned a lot from both, but I think my experience can all be summarized into one phrase. ALWAYS give love AND create change.
Follow Danielle on Twitter: @MissDani_Bee
*Editor’s note: Danielle was the first person to hear the plan for the Love Infinitely Project!