10 year-old Justin of Lapeer, MI wanted a Playstation 4. It was all he talked about, and he’d been saving his money for months.
But Justin had always loved animals, too. He thought about the animals living at the shelters in his town, waiting for their forever homes. He really wanted to help them, but he didn’t know where to start.
Justin was also an artist. One day, he had an idea– he could use his artistic talent to raise money for animals. He decided he’d create some special artwork to raise money for his local animal shelter. He started drawing pictures of animals and tried to sell them by standing on a street corner. When he didn’t get any takers, he was crushed.
His mom, Rhonda, was touched by his efforts. “Justin’s always had a deep love for animals,” she says. “He has a big heart.” She gently suggested they try another tactic and helped him post his work on Facebook.
The community response was overwhelming. In the first two days, Justin raised over $400. In just two weeks, he was able to raise over $2,000 to donate to not just one, but two of his local shelters, Paradise Animal Rescue and Lapeer County Animal Control.
Justin also decided that the Playstation wasn’t so important after all, and put those funds towards the shelters as well. “I just want the dogs [at the shelters] to have a better life,” Justin says.