When 6-year-old Andrea “Andy” Soulard learned her beloved Oakland Zoo might have to permanently shutter its gates due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she knew she couldn’t let this happen.
With help from her mom, Andy started a Facebook fundraiser and made the first gift by donating $5 she received from the Tooth Fairy earlier in the week.
As an incentive for others to give, Andy promised to make a bracelet for every donor who gave more than $25.
Hoping to raise $200 for the zoo, Andy was astounded to learn her fundraiser raised more than $220,000 in less than a month! All told, Andy’s Facebook fundraiser raised nearly $227,000 plus the Oakland Zoo reported they received an additional $10,000 in direct donations.
Recognizing Andy’s outstanding achievement, leadership and good character, the Kiwanis Club of San Leandro presented Andy with the Hope of America Award. The Cal-Nev-Ha Children’s Fund established the Hope of America Award in 1984 as a way for Kiwanis clubs to recognize students in grades K-12 for outstanding academic accomplishments, leadership, and good character.
Thanks to her selfless devotion to her community, the Oakland Zoo remained open, allowing the entire community to benefit from the beauty and learning that are behind its gates. Andy has shown that you do not have to be a big person to make a difference – you only need to have a big HEART.
And those bracelets Andy promised to make . . . Andy shared she “only” had to make 940 bracelets! With help from her classmates and neighbors, Andy was able to meet the demand and delivered on her promise. Andrea “Andy” Soulard is a name to remember as she most certainly is the Hope of America. Click here to order your Hope of America awards and start recognizing the outstanding students in your community today!