Riverlink blog, donations by 6-year-old featured on CBS Evening News

What connects RiverLink, a 6-year-old from Southern Pines, N.C., and Katy Couric? An interest in the Gulf oil disaster. CBS Evening Show host Couric contacted RiverLink recently after seeing a RiverLink blog that featured 6-year-od Skylar Fielder-Jones’ efforts to collect cleanup supplies for the oil disaster and donate them to the Asheville-based nonprofit. Here’s the full scoop from RiverLink.

Watching the evening news one night, 6-year-old Skylar Fielder-Jones of Southern Pines, N.C., decided she could and should do something to help the wildlife affected by the April 20 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

And on June 3, Skylar herself is scheduled to be on the evening news in a story about her work collecting cleanup supplies for the effort.

A producer for CBS’s Evening News with Katie Couric contacted RiverLink, the Asheville non-profit that accepted Skylar’s contributions, after seeing Skylar’s story on RiverLink’s blog, “The River Whisperer.” (http://theriverwhisperer.blogspot.com/)

The animal-loving youth collected paper towels, surgical gloves and dish soap and other supplies requested by relief agencies in the Gulf area. On Tuesday, June 1, she and her family delivered the goods 220 miles away to Asheville’s RiverLink, a non-profit working to revitalize the French Broad River watershed.

Skylar first appealed to her first-grade class and worked her way up to an appearance before her church to request donations. She admitted she was a little nervous standing up in front of her whole church, but told RiverLink’s volunteer coordinator Dave Russell, “I just pretended I was just talking to my mom and dad out there.”

“RiverLink sent out a request for donations on May 6 and had a small stockpile, mostly of towels and bedsheets,” said Russell. “Skylar came along and essentially tripled what he had. It was a pleasure to meet with her and her family, too. They’re good folks.”

Skylar and her family are still taking donations, and anyone interested in helping out can contact her mother, Kimberly Fielder-Jones, at kimfielderjones@yahoo.com.


Skylar (left) and her younger sister Zoie in front of the RiverLink offices in Asheville, NC, with the cleanup supplies she collected for the wildlife affected by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. June 1, 2010, photo by Becca Childress of RiverLink.

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About Margaret Williams
Managing Editor Margaret Williams has been at Xpress since 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987.

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