It all started when someone gave 3-year-old Justin Sather a blanket covered in pictures of frogs.
The toddler quickly grew to adore amphibians, particularly the mossy frog and the strawberry poison dart frog. So when he found out that nearly a third of the world's frogs are facing extinction due to air and water pollution, he vowed to do something to help his tiny friends.
His fondness for all things froggy launched a five-year (and counting!) environmental campaign that's brought Justin and his family members all over the world. The now 10-year-old is an environmental activist who has raised almost $30,000 to stop plastic pollution, preserve wetlands, save rain forests, and invest in conservation projects around the world!
"Frogs breathe and drink through their skin, so they are sensitive to their environment," Justin explained. "Scientists say that frogs are indicator species. This means the frogs are telling us the world needs our help."
Recently, Justin's For the Love of Frogs organization raised enough money to buy 30 acres of land that will be preserved and protected in Ecuador. Their ultimate mission is to conserve 30 percent of the planet by 2030!
It was the unique way that frogs absorb elements from the environment through their skin that inspired Justin to start his foundation when he was just a kindergartener. He started off by selling toy frogs, opening a GoFundMe, and teaming up with other environmental organizations to broaden his reach.
"Reserva is helping the rainforest," Justin wrote on his website. "Almost half of the world's rainforest have been destroyed and they could disappear in 100 years. A lot of the frogs live in the rainforest."
"You also can do the Million Letters campaign, which is how you raise money for the rainforest," he continued. "You raise $3 for every letter you write and you can help frogs and save land in Ecuador every time you write a letter. When you make a letter, you get a certificate. You need 244 letters to raise one acre, and one acre of land is $730."
Justin and his family have been honored for their work in many ways, but he said the most rewarding experience so far was meeting famed conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.
"I liked meeting Dr. Jane Goodall and going to Ecuador," Justin wrote. "They're probably the two most rewarding parts, and to be in Bravery Magazine. I'm in the book that Dr. Jane Goodall is in. It's called Bravery Magazine and it's about different changemakers around the world. It's cool because the same day I got to meet Dr. Jane Goodall, I also got to have the interview for the book."
Justin hopes his story will inspire other kids to take action to save the planet. After all, it just takes one small idea to change the world!
Share this story to thank Justin for everything he's doing to help our environment.
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