PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Despite a ban on international trade in ivory, elephants around the world are still being poached in large numbers.

However, organizations like The Elephant Project, has helped aid in the rescue, rehabilitation, and protection of hundreds of elephants globally.

“I started The Elephant Project just to create awareness and funds for elephants globally because I felt like if we don’t do something now, they will go extinct in the very near future,” said Kristina McKean, The Elephant Project Founder. “Thousands of elephants are being held or captured every year and it’s become a huge problem and I wanted them to be around for generations to come.”

With a background in product development design, McKean said she wanted to create a product to help bring awareness and funds to elephant rescue efforts and “teach children everywhere that they can help and make a difference and be the voice for the voiceless.”

To aid this effort, The Elephant Project sells stuffed animal elephants with 100% of the net proceeds going to organizations “fighting the poaching crisis,” according to the project website.

“The Elephant Project, these are gifts that give back…this holiday season it’s really important to give a gift that gives back and it’s a really small way of making a change,” McKean said.

To help save elephants, McKean also encourages everyone to not ride elephants, take selfies with endangered animals or visit roadside zoos or circuses.

McKean also encourages children of all ages to “use your voice when you see something that doesn’t look right or something on social media to speak up because that actually can be very, very powerful.”