Friday, January 7, 2011
Making a difference... one kibble bit at a time.
In my last post, I wrote about facing fear and how the timing is never perfect for going after what you really want in life. As I was writing this blog, I stumbled across a really incredible website FreeKibble.com and the inspirational 14-year-old (Mimi Ausland) behind it all. Mimi's story proves that all of us - no matter where we are in life - have the capacity to start something that matters.
When Mimi was 11, she discovered FreeRice.com - a website that donates 10 grains of rice to the World Food Programme for every trivia question that you answer. Mimi liked the site so much that we showed her family, and soon all of them were glued to the screen answering question after question.
Growing up in Bend, Oregon, Mimi has always shared her life with animals. In addition to caring for the family golden retriever (Aspen), cat (Dorothy), hamster (Sunny) and horse, Mimi started volunteering at the local Humane Society when she was 7. Mimi knew that she wanted to help out in a bigger way... but it wasn't until she discovered FreeRice.com that Mimi had her epiphany: If FreeRice is such a success, why not create a similar website that gives free kibble to homeless dogs and cats for every trivia question that users answer? And with that, FreeKibble.com was born.
Fast forward three years later, and Freekibble.com has helped to provide nearly 4.5 million nutritious meals to dogs and cats and the site is the largest contributor of food to 13 animal shelters across the country. This past summer, Mimi was the catalyst for 320,000 people sending letters to President Obama in support of naming April 30th "National Adopt a Shelter Day." Mimi has been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, named a "Hero Among Us" by People Magazine, and voted "Kid of the Year" by the ASPCA. Simply amazing.
Thank you Mimi for being such an inspiration... and for showing us that you're never too young to accomplish something great.
PS - Back home in Arlington, my parents have two golden retrievers (Noah and Sadie), four cats (Polka, Mr. Dot, Cupid and Shilo) and an opossum named Winnie (which Sadie rescued from our pool skimmer last April). According to my mom, all the animals get along great :)