Born Free USA Blog
by Will Travers,
Chief Executive Officer
What can you say about a big-hearted bloke who has rescued dolphins, tigers, elephants and more and whose parents once helped a lion cub from a department store by caring for him in their backyard and engineering his rightful return to Africa? You can safely say that he's got great animal instincts! In 1984, Will Travers joined his parents — "Born Free" film stars Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers — to form what became The Born Free Foundation. With knowledge, passion and compassion dripping from his every word, Will's blogs are sure to make you embrace our crusade to Keep Wildlife in the Wild ®.
I’m always inspired by those who take it upon themselves to raise money for animals. And, I love it when they accept a challenge in order to do so. So, I’m particularly excited that a Born Free USA supporter has combined the two to make a real impact.
Margaret Green, a loyal animal lover, has accepted the challenge to run in the 20th Annual Direct Edge Newport Liberty Half Marathon in Jersey City, NJ on September 22. She’ll be wearing a Born Free vest, hoping to raise awareness about animal issues. Margaret is particularly passionate about ending the capture and confinement of wild animals for the purposes of profit and pet ownership; helping endangered species; and, ultimately, being an advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Margaret explains, “I'll be running for all those without a voice who are taken advantage of and exploited, but also for those who do the exploiting—hoping somehow they can see the harm and confusion they cause, and change.”
Margaret aims to raise a minimum of $1,000, all of which will be donated to Born Free USA. Please visit her Crowdrise fundraising page to help her reach this generous goal. Your donation will make a real difference in the lives of animals and validate the personal and physical sacrifice that she’s making on our behalf.
Margaret’s strategy to endure her races is, literally, to take one step at a time. “My older sister taught me a trick once when we ran a 10k years ago… She kept saying, “Just one more mile!,” even though we still had four, three, two to go. Breaking it down like that—one step, one mile at a time—makes all the difference for me… I try to savor the moment and not focus on the finish line.” To me, this approach is a great analogy for participating in animal advocacy. There are so many animals to help, and so many issues to resolve, that I find it best to focus on each task at hand. And, after all of this effort, you can look back and appreciate the positive changes you’ve made for animals.
I, myself, have accepted similar athletic challenges to raise money for a cause and an organization I believe in deeply. I’ve run the London Marathon, I’ve biked Mount Kenya, and I’ve climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. So, I’m familiar with the physical and mental challenges that Margaret’s half marathon represents.
Running for a cause can motivate any animal advocate to get through those taxing miles. Margaret tells us that she’ll “most definitely be spurred on by the animals [she’s] raising money to help.” Running for something bigger than yourself—especially for a life-saving cause like ours—makes an already thrilling race that much more significant.
I’m so grateful that Margaret has chosen Born Free USA as the beneficiary of her hard work. What an inspiring message to send to our members: that you can participate in something you love, while also helping animals.
So, to Margaret, and on behalf of the lions, elephants, rhinos, baboons, bears, and all other animals Born Free USA works to save, I offer my personal thanks.
P.S. What lengths are you willing to go to in order to save animals? If there’s an event near you, let us know and we’ll send your Born Free vest in the mail. Contact Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org.