UPDATE: Owen Colley's family has surpassed the new goal of $5,000 that was set after this story was originally published, and as of 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, had raised over $12,000. The family posted this update:
"We are humbled beyond belief - your generosity toward fire-affected animals, and to a little boy doing his part to help them, is staggering. Your donations, messages, and support have brought us to tears. And now, we have a lot of clay koalas to make! Thank you ❤️ -The Colley Family"
HINGHAM, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — As devastating wildfires continue to impact Australia, one local boy is doing what he can to raise money for the animals down under.
When six-year-old Owen Colley of Hingham heard about the fires, he wanted to know how to help.
He began making and selling tiny clay koalas—and within just one week, he's raised over $1,000.
Colley's mother Caitlin told WBZ NewsRadio's Kevin Coleman how it all started.
"He drew a picture and he didn't want to show me, but the next day, I asked him about it, and he said it's a wish for Australia," she said. "It was a picture of animals, fire, and rain, and I thought, wow, let's run with that, let's celebrate that!"
Owen's family started a GoFundMe page called Owen's Australian Creature Rescue—and after its initial $1,000 goal was met, they set a new goal of $5,000. The money it raises will go to Wildlife Rescue South Coast, a volunteer organization in Australia "dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of Australian Native Fauna," according to its website.
Caitlin said the next step might be making YouTube videos to teach other children how to make the koalas and sell them in their communities.
To donate to Owen's rescue efforts, click here.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kevin Coleman (@KevinColemanWBZ) reports