A six-year-old boy living in Massachusetts had a great idea to raise awareness and money for the Australian wildlife community that is currently being decimated by the devastating wildfires raging through the country.
Owen Colley, whose father is from Sydney, wanted to do something to help after seeing the news about the wildfires. Colley also has a special connection to the country after living there for two months as a young boy.
“He has a pull to Australia,” his mom, Caitlin Colley, told CNN. “He’s very proud of the fact that he lived there. I don’t think he remembers any of it but he’s proud it.”
Caitlin and Owen brainstormed ways of raising awareness and ultimately settled on making clay koalas that they would give out in exchange for any donation of at least $50 to the Wildlife Rescue South Coast. The organization is currently building shelters and feeding stations for displaced animals affected by the fires.
Owen has made 55 of the adorable koalas so far. In addition to raising money by giving out the koalas, people have also begun donating directly to the family’s GoFundMe page, which has raised nearly $150,000 to date.
Owen and his family are overjoyed by the amount of attention they’ve raised for such a good cause. They are now working on making the koalas for each person who has donated.
“We are blown away. We thank you for your patience as we finalize the logistics surrounding supplies, shipping, and production,” they wrote. “As you can imagine, we have been busy recruiting family and friends for koala-making parties. Thank you thank you thank you – we think you are all just wonderful!”
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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