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American Boy, 6, Raises Nearly $100,000 For Bushfire Appeal By Making Clay Koalas

American Boy, 6, Raises Nearly $100,000 For Bushfire Appeal By Making Clay Koalas

American kindergartener Owen was devastated when he heard about the bushfires hitting Australia.

When he asked his mum whether any animals had been killed, he was speechless when she replied with 'yes'.

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The six-year-old from Hingham, Massachusetts, decided he wanted to help, so came up with an idea with his parents to make little clay koalas to raise money.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

His mum, Caitlin Colley, told CNN: "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."

In just three days, Owen has managed to raise nearly AUD$100,000.

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The boy and his family are now committing to create 1,000 koalas for the people who have donated more than $50 to his GoFundMe. All the funds raised on the site will be dedicated to Wildlife Rescue South Coast Inc.

That organisation is building aviaries, boxes, and enclosures for displaced animals and they're also helping individuals set up feeding stations on their properties if the original ones were destroyed in a bushfire.

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Credit: GoFundMe
Credit: GoFundMe

Owen's mum Caitlin wrote on the GoFundMe: "Your generosity has exceeded our wildest hopes.

"Owen set out with a second goal of $5,000 and as his story has been shared across the country (and ocean), we have seen the absolute best in people - from those who have liked and shared to those who have donated."

The six-year-old spent some time in Australian when he was a toddler because his dad lived in Sydney - so he has a strong 'pull' towards helping the country.

According to CNN, it takes about three to four minutes to mould each koala and then up to 20 minutes in the oven to let it set.

Credit: CNN
Credit: CNN

Because demand has been so high, the Colley's have run out of clay; so much so that they've bought all the material they can find in a 20 mile radius.

They are committing to sending out the koalas to everyone who donates but have asked everyone to be patient because, at the end of the day, they're a very small operation.

"We're seeing all of the donations coming in and we're like, 'Oh my gosh, we don't have the clay,'" Caitlin said.

"We have every intention to fulfil every koala, it just won't happen by tomorrow. It's a six-year-old using his little hands to make the spaces and the ears, so it does take time."

Featured Image Credit: GoFundMe

Topics: News, Bushfires, Australia

Stewart Perrie

Stewart Perrie is a Trending Journalist at LADbible. His first job was as a newsreader and journalist at the award winning Sydney radio station, Macquarie Radio. He was solely responsible for the content broadcast on multiple stations across Australia when the MH17, Germanwings and AirAsia disasters unfolded. Stewart has covered the conflict in Syria for LADbible, interviewing a doctor on the front line, and has contributed to the hugely successful UOKM8 campaign.