He’s only 6 years old, but Owen Colley is determined to make a difference by helping animals threatened by the wildfires devastating parts of Australia. He’s doing it in a way only a child can: by sculpting one koala at a time.
“We’re making little, clay koalas to help the animals that have been hurt by the Australian brush fires,” Owen said.
Owen is carefully crafting koalas for a cause, “because helping animals is better than watching TV.”
Owen’s father, Simon, is Australian. When the 6-year-old learned that so many animals have been killed or are threatened by the wildfires, he was upset.
“He thought about that and said, have any houses burned down?” Owen’s mother, Caitlin told us. “I said, yes, about 2,000. Any animals get hurt? And I said yes.”
So Owen told his mother he wanted to do something. He started making little koalas out of clay. Make a donation – get a koala. At first, it was just family. But word got out, and donations came in.
Owen explained how it all works: “People buy them, then we get the money, then we give it to Australia,” he said to WFXT.
“We’ve raised about $1,200,” Caitlin said. [24 hours after this story aired, that total was over $17,000.]
The money goes to Wildlife Rescue South Coast, an Australian volunteer group helping animals displaced by the fires.
“We can help the fires, and help the animals,” Owen said. He was clearly excited about expanding the project. “My whole class found out today, and then almost my whole class wants to do it,” he said.
“I’m so proud of him,” his mom said. “He’s doing a great job.”