The Capistrano Dispatch

Students at Del Obispo Elementary School in San Juan Capistrano raised a total $300 throughout the school year and awarded checks this week to nonprofits that go toward saving endangered species.

As a part of the “Be the Change Group,” a group of passionate 5th grade students at Del Obispo created a nonprofit called Rabbits to Rhinos, to help with three projects they support that help protect endangered species. The students collected pinecones from across town and set up an “eco-bird feeder” crafting table several times throughout the year to collect money to donate.

“The Rabbits to Rhinos group also got donations from friends, family and the community to assist with three projects they wanted to support,” Del Obispo Principal Suzanne Heck said. “They raised about $300 for these projects.”

On Tuesday, May 29, the students received checks to send to their three organizations, $100 to the World Wildlife Fund’s Project Rhino, $100 to VIVA Vaquita and $100 to Earth Justice’s Save the Sockeye Salmon.

The Rabbits to Rhinos group has a website, in which they outline why they chose these causes to donate to.

“Rhinos are majestic creatures and we plan to keep them alive,” the website said. “For years and years to come humans will be living on earth. We need to thank earth by taking care of it and its inhabitants.”

The website notes that there are some 30 vaquitas, a type of porpoise, left in the wild and the funds to VIVA Vaquita will go towards special nets that prevent them from being caught. The Rabbits to Rhinos website also cites concerns of water pollution that can affect the sockeye salmon populations in Alaska.

To learn more about the Rabbits to Rhinos nonprofit, go to their website at or email

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