HINGHAM (CBS) — A recent WBZ-TV story about a 6-year-old Hingham boy raising money to help save animals from the Australian brush fires has spread across the world, and his GoFundMe page has gone crazy.
Owen Colley has promised to make clay koalas for anyone who donated to his cause.READ MORE: Teen Lifeguards Save Man Who Suffered Heart Attack On Dennis Beach
On Tuesday, his fundraiser hit more than $265,000. And Owen needs to make about 3,000 koalas.
The Colley family’s kitchen table is a mini assembly line. “You start by rolling a ball and pinching their little ears. Two eyes and one nose, and then it’s about done,” Owen explained.
His dad Simon, who is Australian, and mom Caitlin are helping. “It’s almost become a movement. It’s really exciting,” Caitlin said.READ MORE: Police: Allegedly Drugged Driver Fled Scene After Hitting And Killing Taunton Woman
A movement started by a kindergartner. When Owen learned about the animals affected by the Australian brush fires, he wanted to do something. He started making clay koalas and giving them to friends and family who made donations to an Australia group helping on the ground. Then word got out.
It started in a South Shore newspaper, then WBZ-TV interviewed Owen on Jan. 13, then CNN jumped on board and so did news outlets in the U.K., Italy, France and beyond. Donations have poured in.
“We’ve had nights where we just balled our eyes out. The kindness has been overwhelming,” Caitlin said.
Due to the enormous response, the family is no longer sending out clay koalas to new donors, but they hope the generosity continues. “That will help koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, flying foxes,” Owen said.MORE NEWS: Large Outdoor Events Like Concerts Remain Safe Despite COVID Concerns, Experts Say
The family was actually having trouble finding enough modeling clay. Then the company that makes the kind Owen likes, Sculpey, learned about the effort and donated some.