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Kelly Coplin’s Blog

Your Faith, Restored: NRDC Receives Support from Budding Seventh Grade Environmentalists

Kelly Coplin

Posted February 11, 2013 in Curbing Pollution, Living Sustainably, Saving Wildlife and WIld Places, U.S. Law and Policy

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Sometimes it’s easy to get bogged down by the seemingly insurmountable challenges associated with environmental policy in general (and water policy in particular). The problems we face are big. And change frequently doesn’t seem to be coming fast enough. But every so often you’re reminded what you got into this field, and you’re inspired to keep on keeping on. Personally, I am always invigorated when I hear about young environmentalists, but never so much as recently, when I had the unique opportunity to meet with 7th grader Alex Alouf as a part of a school project on philanthropic giving.

A few months ago, Alex contacted NRDC’s water program to learn more about water pollution and NRDC’s work. Alex is a student at the Brandeis Hillel Day School in Marin County, California, and was working on her Tzedakah Project – an incredible program at her school through which students pick an issue of justice they care about, research that topic and identify an organization they feel is deserving of philanthropic funds. The students then meet with their chosen organization and return back to their class to advocate why they should donate a portion of the class’s communal charitable pot to their chosen organization. Part of the process includes learning about the organizations’ finances, to ensure they’re responsibly investing in effective charities!

Kelly and Alex Photo.jpgLuckily for us, Alex chose clean water as her area of concern, and a few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending her Tzedakah celebration, where NRDC was recognized – along with 28 other organizations – with a generous $115 donation on behalf of Alex and her classmates. While attending the ceremony, I was so impressed by the skills and values this project was instilling in the students at such an early age. These are the young people that will grow up to join us in the fight for clean water, LGBT rights and global access to education. I am able to rest a little easier knowing that schools like Brandeis Hillel Day School are working hard to instill the importance public interest engagement from an early age.

Alex’s donation will help to support NRDC’s clean water campaign to protect and strengthen the Clean Water Act, one of America’s bedrock environmental laws. Thank you so much Alex, for both your donation and your inspiration! 

Tzedakah Project Poster.jpg

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Comments (Add yours)

joel reynoldsFeb 11 2013 09:38 PM

Thanks to Alex for her great work on behalf of all of us -- and to Kelly for writing about it.

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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