Andover sisters wake up with America 

  • Ember (left) and Azalea Morgan on the Brooklyn Bridge on their bike trek through New York City from Andover. Molly Morgan

  • Ember and Azalea Morgan bike through New York City on their trek from Andover. Molly Morgan

  • Ember (left) and Azalea Morgan get ready for their spot on Good Morning America. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Ember (left) and Azalea Morgan were getting ready for their spot on Good Morning America on Wednesday, December 30, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Ember (left) and Azalea Morgan were getting ready for their spot on Good Morning America on Wednesday, December 30, 2020. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor columnist
Published: 12/31/2020 5:46:38 PM

The Morgan sisters, live from their home in Andover Thursday morning, told the nation about their love for polar bears and hope for a better future.

“We’re trying to help polar bears because we created Kids Care 4 Polar Bears to help raise awareness about climate change and how it’s affecting polar bears,” Ember Morgan, 10, told millions during the broadcast of ‘Good Morning America.’

“And we biked from New Hampshire to New York City to raise money for 100 percent clean energy for school.”

That’s why Ember and Azalea Morgan, 9, were on “Good Morning American” in the first place. One of the show’s segments Thursday included an annual tribute to the contributions of school-aged girls through American history.

This year, attention was drawn to improving the environment and addressing climate change.

They were the perfect representatives for this project, two young girls, 9 and 7 at the time, who accompanied their mother on a 250-mile bike ride, with all its hardships, to the Big Apple to attend the United Nations Climate Action Summit. To raises money and awareness about climate change and promote their GoFundMe page called Kids Care 4 Polar Bears.

“It’s funny because when we were on our trip, I said that I won’t be satisfied until the girls are on ‘Good Morning America,’ and then it happened,” said the girls’ mother, Molly Morgan. “We actually manifested this moment and it made me so proud of them. I thought they did such a good job speaking to the camera.”

It lasted a minute or so, which can seem like a long time in the world of live TV. That challenge, though, could not compare to the odyssey from September of last year. The idea came after the girls saw a documentary showing a family of polar bears struggling to survive as the snow melted around them.

A perfect story had been created. Suddenly, the girls were motivated to make some noise about climate change. They heard that the United Nations Climate Action Summit was coming soon to Manhattan.

Then they heard a guest speaker would include 15-year-old Greta Thunberg, whose youthful activism had made headlines in a world inching toward clean, green energy and safer polar bears.

From there, mom hatched her idea, a goal that would require all the strength – physically, mentally and emotionally – she and her two girls could muster. Molly says the girls were on board, right away.

“In the moment, there was no way I could have asked them to do this or pushed them in anyway,” Molly said this week. “I can’t get my kids to put on their socks, so there’s no way I could have convinced them to do it if they didn’t want to.”

“I was their guide, and they were all about it,” she continued. “They wanted to do anything to save those polar bears.”

That meant pushing themselves to navigate on shoulder-less roadways, battling hunger and the unknown that come with sleeping bags and tents rather than hotels and warm beds.

Once in Manhattan, Molly rode behind her daughters on busy city streets, acting as a buffer between the traffic behind them as cabbies accelerated through crowded streets like Dale Earnhardt Jr.

At times, seeking a break and a faster method of travel, Molly explained to public transportation officials why they should bend the rules and allow mom and her two daughters on the train or bus, with bicycles in tow.

Once home, “Good Morning America” heard about the Morgan adventure. Their interview Thursday coincided with the unveiling of the 18-inch American Girl doll and accompanying book, both announced annually to honor young girls of all races during different periods of history.

This year’s doll, named Kira, portrays a 10-year-old girl who, the GMA host said, “spends her summer at her aunt’s wildlife sanctuary in Australia, she cares deeply about animals and the environment and important ecological issues like wildlife protection and climate change.”

The dolls represent a commercial enterprise and have been criticized for being pricey, with accessories selling separately and adding to the cost.

But the stage and show also provided the perfect opportunity for these sisters to spread their message, inspired last year by a show about polar bears and melting snow.

Both girls were cool under pressure.

“I think that this doll will inspire little girls,” Azalea told the GMA audience, “and teach them that it doesn’t matter what your age is, you can always make a difference.”

Added Molly, “(Climate change) was a complex problem that I didn’t have an answer for. But I promised them we would do something about it.”

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