Simple Service: Adopt a Turtle

Service Project: Adopt a turtle through an animal sanctuary

Prep time: None (unless you are also making a poster)

Cost: $6 to adopt a turtle for a month

Duration: 5 minutes to adopt the turtle but it provides for endless opportunities to learn about how important animal sanctuaries are!

Lesson(s) learned: You can help animals in need, even if they are many miles away!

How we did it:

Addie is studying the islands of Hawaii in school right now. She is learning so much and it’s exciting to talk with her about her daily lessons. I wanted her to get involved in a service project that related to what she was learning, so I found a great non-profit located in the Kona area of Hawaii. Three Ring Ranch has been around for almost 20 years and is a private, exotic animal sanctuary. According to their website, Three Ring Ranch is, “Hawaii’s only fully-accredited, USDA licensed, exotic animal sanctuary,” and their mission is to, “positively impact the environment while educating Hawaii’s children about their place in the natural world.”

The Three Ring Ranch website is fantastic and while I looked through it with Addie, I felt like we had been transported to Hawaiian paradise. Their photo gallery is fantastic and Addie loved looking at all the pictures of the animals that they are dedicated to helping. We also discovered that they have multiple educational programs for children along with residency programs for veterinary students. 

We really loved what this sanctuary was doing for the animals (and children) in Hawaii, so we decided to adopt a turtle! They have many different kinds of animals that you can adopt so have fun talking with your children about what the options are. The best part….you don’t actually have to care for the turtle yourself! We spent $6 and adopted a turtle for a month. The $6 that we donated provides food and care for a month for one of the turtles living at the pet sanctuary.

Step 1: Head to their fantastic website at

Step 2: After you’ve had fun checking out all the great things that they do, click on the ADOPTIONS link on the home page. You should be taken to the page you see below.

Can you believe all the animals that need their assistance? Wow! Addie and I adopted a turtle, however, if your children love zebras…..well, you’ve come to the right place! You can adopt a zebra!

Once we adopted our turtle, Addie made a big poster for her school. Her poster included information about our turtle along with a homemade turtle and little wood cut-outs that we made into a crab, starfish and jellyfish (what a sea turtle might eat). Here’s what our poster supplies looked like right before we started our poster project.

We painted the wood shapes and put Velcro on the back of them. By doing this, all the kids at Addie’s school can take turns “feeding” the poster turtle.  

Our turtle “food!”

Here’s our finished poster!

Three Ring Ranch has a section on their website where they post pictures of the drawings that school children have submitted to them. I love that they recognize little artists!

Have fun adopting a turtle…or another exotic animal! 

Kelli worked in the technology industry for 20 years before taking time off to raise her daughter. She has an 18 year old son and a 2 year old daughter that have taught her how to appreciate every moment with them.