The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation has received a heartfelt donation of US$1,000 from Nolin Godwin, a 10-year-old visitor from Atmore, Alabama.
Nolin raised the money by selling paintings and drawings in his hometown over the past six months. After he and his mother found the Foundation’s Facebook page last year, he was immediately drawn to helping Mr. Harvey with his conservation efforts.
“I just love all of it,” he said, when asked why he felt so inspired by Mr. Harvey’s work. “I love marine life and painting. I wanted to help.”
Nolin’s parents said they noticed his love for marine life and art at a young age, and were motivated to get him to meet Mr. Harvey and see someone who was making a living as a marine biologist and a painter.
Gordon Godwin, Nolin’s father, said that he is very proud of his son’s devotion and hard work. “We went to meet [Guy Harvey] and, out of nowhere, Nolin said ‘I’m thinking about selling my paintings and giving some of the money to your foundation,’” Mr. Godwin said.
“He was taking orders and painting while being in school and playing soccer … he had to manage his time to get things done but he really enjoyed it.”
Nolin’s parents said they especially appreciated the way Mr. Harvey encouraged Nolin in his efforts and made him feel like his thoughts and ideas held value.
“We’ve been really impressed with Guy Harvey and the way he treats Nolin. In this day and age, finding somebody who is worth looking up to is hard,” his father said. “We met with him again and Guy Harvey was genuinely excited to see Nolin. He even featured him in his documentary ‘Sharks of North America.’”
Mr. Harvey said that he was equally as impressed with Nolin’s efforts and his devotion to helping the marine environment. “During his most recent visit, he was able to assist us with the southern stingray survey at the sandbar and see firsthand the marine research work that his generous donation will help fund,” Mr. Harvey said.
Nolin raised around US$1,500 in total and elected to give a portion to his local church, donate $1,000 to Guy Harvey’s foundation, and used the rest to pay for his own scuba diving gear during his visit to Grand Cayman.