Asha’s Letter to the SVI

The Social Venture Institute is an annual gathering at Hollyhock, Cortes Island, to share goals, challenges and successes amongst leaders of established small business and non-profit enterprises. Asha is a passionate thirteen-year-old on Cortes who has been advocating for the Children’s Forest for several years.

Asha’s mother has been attending the SVI event for several years, and has become a part of its growing network. Ashe wrote this letter before her 13th birthday, and her mother forwarded it on Asha’s  birthday to participants of the SVI, asking for support.

October 24, 2017

Dear SVI community,

My name is Asha Harvey and I live on Cortes Island. The children here have a dream, of buying 600 acres of forest land in the heart of the island, surrounding Carrington lagoon, that contains many species at risk and Old Growth trees and is the most beautiful place that I know. I am part of a group of kids who have been trying to raise money to buy this land, which we have named The Children’s Forest. This Forest would be owned by the children of Cortes Island forever, passed down generation to generation. It is our dream that our children and grandchildren can experience this forest as we have.

Island Timberlands (I.T) owns this land and would like to come and cut it.  When I was five years old I went to a successful protest and at the end of that rainy day, I felt hope and vowed to protect the forest for my whole life. Now 8 years later, the Cortes Children’s Forest Trust, has become a registered charity. I.T. still owns the land, but we created an agreement with them about buying the Children’s Forest. So we are still hard at work, walking in the forest together on the first Sunday of each month, and each spring participating in a two day biological inventory, bringing in biologists to teach us and identify red listed and endangered species. We’ve also formed a Children’s Forest Theatre troupe, producing plays such as Shades of Green, The Lorax and Without One, None. We perform for the public and at schools (if you’d like us to perform, please let me know!)

We may be a small group of kids, but our hearts are big and we know our voices can change the world. Help us take the first step of this journey. If you’d like to learn more, make a pledge or a donation, please go to our webpage:  If you have any ideas about how we can raise funds or if you can help in some way, please email me:

Thank you for listening,

“Only if someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better… its not.” Dr. Seuss, The Lorax.


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