Frenship children raise funds, awareness for wildlife center

It’s not that Amy James didn’t know what her children were doing with other neighborhood children outside her home in Frenship Mesa.

She knew they had an informational booth in front of her house about frogs and animals and the need to help them out.

It’s just that she didn’t realize what they were really doing.

In March of 2011, Brett James, then 6, became very interested in doing research on various animals on the Internet, especially frogs and lizards.

Then she and other neighborhood friends, especially Rylan Cummings, then 5, decided to start asking neighbors for money to help save injured frogs and other critters.

“When she showed me they were actually getting money, I said, ‘Oh, you’re serious,’” Amy James said of the children’s efforts.

“We’ve always been serious,” Brett, now 8, said to her mother while seated at a booth in front of her house this week.

She and Rylan have now decided to set up their fundraising effort with a manager and assistant manager — Brett said she will always be the manager and Rylan will be assistant manager.

They named the organization from its inception as Frogs for Habitat.

Amy James said she’s sure they meant Habitat for Frogs; it’s just one of those nuances of being a child that led them to state it backward.

To date, the girls, along with several other neighborhood children, including Brett’s little sister, Brookelyn, 4, have raised just more than $100 to give to the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Most of the money has been raised by selling lemonade, fruit kabobs, homemade duct tape bracelets and pipe cleaner and bead bracelets, and by simply asking for donations.

Amy James said she and other parents have made sure the children stay on their end of the cul-de-sac.

It’s a battle to keep them on that block, though; the manager and assistant manager both believe they would increase their fundraising by expanding to the next block.

“We need to do the other half of our neighborhood,” Rylan said even as Amy James said that was not going to happen.

The children were particularly interested in frogs because there seem to be a lot in the neighborhood, especially in Rylan’s yard, she said. But they are constantly on the lookout for other critters and bugs to observe and protect.

Amy James said she will be taking the children to the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center to present the money in the next few weeks.

“I feel it’s so important for them to go see,” the mom said. “I was so excited to see they turned play time into something meaningful.”

To donate to the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, go to the organization’s website at www.spwrc.org.

Executive Administrator Christa Threet said it is possible to post a memo about the donation through Paypal to let Brett and Rylan know you gave to their cause.

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