Makena is on a mission; to help save the pandas! Her mission ignited at a very young age. When she was only 2 years old, she received a very special panda stuffed animal from her Aunt Mariah; a gift brought all the way from China! Over the years, Makena’s love for pandas grew stronger. In kindergarten, her class pet was a panda stuffy that went home with a classmate each week. “Mr. Panda” had many adventures, and went on his first airplane ride to California while in Makena’s care.
This year (2018), for her 7th birthday (in February), she chose to share her love for pandas and threw a Pennies 4 Pandas Party. In lieu of all gifts, she wanted to raise money for the pandas! We made panda crafts, played panda themed games, and with the support of Pandas International were able to educate her friends about the importance of saving the pandas. Makena’s party was a great success. She raised $260! She was so proud of her efforts, and her parents couldn’t have been more proud of their little panda lover.
Makena’s mission continues! In June, she wrote and presented a paper of what she would like to be when she grows up. Her answer? A Panda Protector! In August, one of her dreams came true. On a very special surprise trip to the San Diego Zoo, Makena got to be a VIP, and came face to face with Bai Yun and Xiao Liwu; the resident pandas that inhabit the zoo. Her ultimate dream is to travel to China to see the giant pandas. Today, her collection of all things panda continues to grow, and she is still saving money in her piggie bank for helping the pandas. Makena’s innate passion for these beautiful creatures is truly something to behold, and will be with her for years to come.