HINGHAM (CBS) — He’s only 6 years old, but a Hingham boy 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,” explained Owen Colley.

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.

Six-year-old Owen Colley with is clay koalas (WBZ-TV)

“We’ve raised about $1,200,” Caitlin said. [24 hours after this story aired on WBZ-TV, 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. He’s doing a great job,” said his mom.

A $50 donation to Owen’s GoFundMe will get you a clay koala, but donations of any size are welcome.

Comments (4)
  1. Hugh Morgan says:

    How does one donate to Hingham boy koala donation?

    1. Lizabeth Craig says:

      There is a link to his GoFundMe page at the very end of the story.

  2. Nicholas Altenberg says:

    What a cute kid, especially when he talked about “aminals” and “kowawas”. :)

  3. Maggie Zimmer says:

    It looks like the donations are being taken in Australian dollars. I suspect people think they are donating in US dollars.

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