When Beverly Kaye's six-year-old grandson Joshua Kaye learned about the extraordinary strandings of dolphins on Cape Cod this winter, he immediately knew he wanted to do something about it.
Joshua, who lives in Braintree, Massachusetts, enlisted the support of his 13-year-old sister, Lauren and his mom, Melissa. Soon enough Melissa had spoken with someone at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, who laid out the group's needs.
Beverly Kaye told Bethwood Patch she understands exactly what her grandson was feeling: "When I was a kid at the Cape, my father brought us to the beach so we could see dozens of mysteriously beached whales, including babies. He had been out fishing when the whales were approaching the beach and quite a few fishermen tried in vain to herd the mammals back out to sea."
"It was quite shocking. It got worse the next day when people came to cut into the heads of the dead whales to acquire an oil which apparently was used for watches. My Dad made a film of the results of that massacre and it profoundly affected me. So I know exactly how my grandson felt," she says.
Beverly's son Andrew and his wife Melissa are active in Mass STAR, a youth leadership program for high school kids, so the family is acquainted with all types of fundraising.
They encourage the kids to come up with ideas of their own to make giving more fun, according to Beverly.
"My granddaughter Lauren, two years ago, organized an effort to collect used sneakers to send to children in Afghanistan and she received recognition from her school and a congratulatory letter from President Obama for her efforts," Beverly says.
"For years my grandchildren have put aside most of their gently used toys, art materials and clothes to gift to Cradles to Crayons. For one of their Chanukah gifts from me, they received a goat, bought in their name, and donated it to a third world family," she says.
When Beverly's daughter reached out to the Cape Cod organization, she was told that they needed more volunteers, more dry suits and lots of specialized medical equipment for the dolphins. Melissa said in an email, "Because volunteers were working around the clock and dry suits were in short supply and many damaged, they were literally duct taping them on."
More than 200 dolphins had been stranded on Cape Cod beaches by the end of March, according to the Boston Globe, a three-month total far higher than the typical 40 or so that is the norm each winter.
Joshua donated the money in the family's charity bank, but he wanted to do more. And so this Saturday, April 21, the Kayes will hold a fundraiser for the IFAW at in Braintree from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Anyone from the Woodbridge area interested in donating can call Melissa at 781-856-4985 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks can also be sent directly to IFAW's world headquarters at 290 Summer St, Yarmouth Port, MA 02675.