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Day 108: Lettuce for the Manatees

Manatee Trainer and the Lettuce Donation

Once again something has come up in our day here in Mexico that became the GIVE of the day. It was meant as a opportunity for my son to see some local sea life and turned into a donation instead.

GIVE 108 / DAY 108

The weather on my vacation has been somewhat challenging at times as a north wind has brought some cooler temperatures and clouds. This also means it’s a great opportunity to go see some sights we may not otherwise would visit as the beach and waves would keep us close to home.

We headed to a place called Puerto Aventuras. This isn’t the type of place I would normally visit on a vacation but with a 3 year old and cool rainy weather entertainment is key. This resort / adventure club features dolphins, sea lions and manatees. The have shows to see and if you want to spend “mucho pesos” you can swim with them, pet their tummies, get a photo as they kiss you and even feed them. For many it is a great adventure and a once in a life time experience.

The Manatee

As my sister lives here and owns a hotel in Playa Del Carmen she had been to this destination in the past and knew that manatees – which I had never seen before – eat lettuce. Manatees look a bit like an underwater cow and the fact that they were vegetarians amazed me. They are huge, almost whale like creatures and you would think they would eat other fish to keep up their large size.

Before we left home my sister grabbed a large bag of lettuce to bring to the manatees. She decided it would be our GIVE of the day. We first went to visit the dolphins, than watched the sea lion show and finally we sat down to watch the manatees. My son pulled the lettuce out from under the stroller and asked if he could feed them. You are not allowed to just throw food into the tanks so we tracked down one of the trainers and asked if we could donate our lettuce to the manatees for their next feeding.

The trainer was very gracious and excepted our donation. We watched him feed our yummy lettuce to the manatees and my son was thrilled to be part of the process. The impact of this GIVE was not so much for the manatee as it was for my son. At the ripe old age of 3 he understands what it means to GIVE. By doing simple inexpensive things like “lettuce for the manatees” we changed the world by teaching my son to GIVE.

If there was a program in schools based on philanthropy for children just imagine what the next generation would be like, imagine what the world would be like.

Have you taught your kids to GIVE today? If you have any stories you would like to share or ideas on teaching our children how to GIVE please send them along so it can be shared.

Time Commitment: 5 minutes

Cost: $3.00 lettuce

What people are saying about 365give

“I wanted to express my gratitude for the teaching you provided today. Your message was delivered eloquently, compassionately, and without judgment. The kids were engaged, and now have knowledge with which they can change the world. We all appreciated how you took the time to help us learn to build positive mindsets and practice happiness.”
Shelley Gardner, Grade 6 Ridgeview Elementary (West Vancouver)
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Mahina Niyozova (Tajikistan)
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Deepika Ahuja, Mom (Bangalore, India)
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Renate Jorge, @BeKindBrazil and 365give Member, Family Program (Brazil)
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MayLee, 365give Member, Individual Program
“This 365give Challenge has really injected excitement and extra enthusiasm in each work day as I think about what we can do. It has motivated me and the students.”
Cristina Peters, School Counselor (New York City, USA)
“I have seen a huge shift in energy throughout my classroom since doing the 365give Challenge. The Challenge has empowered my students to make a positive difference in the school’s community and beyond.”
Cella Adriana, Special Needs Educator /The Holliswood School (New York City, USA)
“The 365give Challenge helps students understand their impact on others. It opens avenues for introducing and discussing global and local issues in classrooms. It is powerful to watch students of all ages think about how they can make a change in another person’s life with one small act.”
Jessica Hall, Primary Teacher, French Immersion at École Pauline Johnson (West Vancouver, Canada)