‘Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.’- Vincent Van Gogh
Indeed, big things aren’t accomplished with big steps and actions. All big things are accomplished by doing lots and lots of baby steps.
Children, in particular, have the innate desire to help those in need, so their purity and courage are often what it takes to make a significant difference in the world we live in.
After learning about the Australian wildfires, Owen Colley, a 6-year-old from Hingham, Massachusetts, got quite upset. He was particularly distressed about the animals being trapped and caught in fire. When his mother confirmed that indeed millions of animals including koalas and kangaroos have died as a result of fire and smoke, he left the room and drew a picture of a kangaroo, a koala and dingo in the rain. As his mother later explained, this drawing demonstrated his wish for rain and bushfire relief.
“It was really the first time Owen had made a wish for something other than Lego or something other than himself. We asked him if he wanted to help and … together we came up with this. We could make some clay koalas and give them in response to donations from friends and family,” Caitlin Colley said.
So, Owen decided to start making little clay koalas, setting up a way for people to donate to Wildlife Rescue South Coast, a wildlife rescue group in New South Wales. Very simple idea, but it works wonders! You donate $50 or more and receive one of Owen’s koalas. So far, Owen has raised more than $243,000!
“When he reached his initial goal of $1000 and started getting attention from local newspapers, we set an ambitious new goal of $5000 and initiated this GoFundMe campaign. Never in a million years did we expect to be so successful or meet and hear from so many amazing people — you’re the world’s best!
Donations will be going to Wildlife Rescue South Coast Inc who are currently building aviaries, boxes, and enclosures for displaced animals and helping individuals set up feeding stations on their properties, so animals whose homes and food sources have been destroyed have somewhere to go,” Owen`s parents wrote on the GoFundMe page.
The making of one koala takes about four minutes, and making the head is Owen`s favorite part. He uses silver Sculpey clay for the head and body, and then adds black clay for the face and white for the ears. Next, the koalas are baked in the oven for about 17 minutes.
Interestingly, after making 55 clay koalas, Owen ran out of clay, as his mom has bought all the Sculpey clay she could find within a 20-mile radius.
“We’re seeing all of the donations coming in and we’re like, ‘Oh my gosh, we don’t have the clay. We have every intention to fulfill every koala, it just won’t happen by tomorrow. It’s a 6-year-old using his little hands to make the spaces and the ears, so it does take time,” Colley said.
This little hero started the fundraises for a simple reason: “Because I like animals.” He is particularly fond of koalas as “because they climb in trees.”
This is quite an amazing story, isn’t it?
“Anyone can make a difference and when we come together we can make an even bigger difference. I just love the idea that maybe other kids can take this to their communities and sell little clay koalas locally and raise money for this great cause,” Owen`s mother concluded.