Nine-year-old Justin Sather loves frogs. He loves them so much he created “For the Love of Frogs,” with the mission to make the planet safer with less plastic and better water quality for frogs and beyond.
When he discovered that after 300 million years on our planet, almost one-third of frogs and amphibians are on the verge of extinction, Justin felt he had to do something. When we spoke, he asked if he could read an essay he had written about how he became inspired to help frogs.
“My mom read me a book that inspired me to help the frogs,” Justin read. “The book was called What Do You Do with an Idea?”
The book was about a boy that had an idea, learned to be brave and changed the world.
“My mom told me she could help me with my idea to help the frogs and that is how my frog project started,” he said.
Justin’s goal was to tell the world about his favorite animal, frogs. “I want people to know frogs are telling us the planet needs our help…I started selling toy frogs to my friends, family, classmates and neighbors to raise awareness,” Justin read. “Next, I worked with PLAE shoes and made frog shoes to raise thousands of dollars.”
He donated the money to “Save the Frogs,” the world’s most effective amphibian conservation organization. Together with the non-profit, Justin built wetlands and had a worldwide art contest about frogs and pollution.
Justin wished to grow his message so he made YouTube videos. “Go Fund Me awarded me as one of their 100 Kid Heroes and the Long Beach Aquarium chose me as their 2018 Young Hero Award,” Justin continued to read.
He was proud to share that he even got to meet Dr. Jane Goodall (best known for her studies on chimpanzees). Big Life Kids even made a podcast about Justin’s story about cleaning up the planet for frogs.
Justin loved sharing with me that frogs are indicator species, meaning that when they get sick, it indicates the ecosystem is off balance and the frogs are sharing that they need help.
In addition to “For the Love of Frogs,” Justin has a side project he’s working on called “The Parallel Projects.” That project began on Earth Day in 2019. Perise Forbi, 22, an environmental science student, reached out to Justin. He was hoping Justin could help him turn his trash into treasures in his home of Cameroon. Justin was shown the thousands of bottles that lined the streets and streams of the country and agreed to help.
There were thousands of bottles that were illegally dumped around Perise’s hometown. Justin and Perise started with focusing on the 8,000 bottles that Perise managed to collect on a World Little Run. Justin spread the word about Perise’s situation, asking everyone he could for ideas. The two released a national call of action for solutions to the litter issue.
They got ideas from all over the world, Justin said.
Justin, his family and friends started completing the ideas in the U.S. and told Perise to do the same, to “parallel” their efforts in Cameroon. Some ideas from people included making flower planters, plastic bottle animals, bottle cap art, jewelry and more.
For more information on Justin and For the Love of Frogs, visit here: https://www.fortheloveoffrogs.com/.