Letchworth schoolboy's koala keyrings raise £1,000 for Australian animal rescue charity
PUBLISHED: 13:24 04 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:24 04 February 2020
An eight-year-old Letchworth schoolboy has sold more than 300 homemade keyrings to help save koalas caught up in the Australian bushfires.
Devon Rasche - a Year 4 pupil at Lordship Farm Primary School - first came up with the idea after hearing about the devastating bushfires in Australia and the damage being done to natural habitats.
"I wanted to help the animals after I learned about the big fires," Devon said. "It made me sad to think about them getting burnt and losing their habitats. Lots of koalas have died and they could become extinct.
"We are too far away to go and help, but I wanted to send some money to the people who are helping.
"They need to keep looking after the injured animals - there are still a lot who need rescuing."
So far, Devon's keyrings have raised just over £1,000 for Australian animal rescue organisation WIRES, and all 300 have been on his mum's embroidery machine.
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Devon's mum, Kim, said "animal welfare has always been really important in the family", and when Devon heard about what was happening in Australia, he was desperate to help.
"Devon does the sowing after school and he puts the keyrings on the koalas in the morning while he eats his breakfast", Kim said. "And he's even roped his sister in to help him as well."
But Kim says Devon never imagined how popular his keyrings would become - and only anticipated making 30 for school friends and family.
"He started selling a few at school, but people were coming up to us to ask if there were any more, and then we kept getting bigger and bigger orders - and when we put it on social media, the thing just exploded.
"We keep thinking we're on top of it - and then suddenly loads more orders will come in.
"Twenty-five key rings have gone to Canada, and 65 to Scotland - Devon is quite proud of selling them to people on the other side of the world!"
On Friday evening, Year 4 at Lordship Farm Primary School will be hosting a fundraiser for the Australian bushfires, inspired by Devon's efforts.
After school, Devon and his classmates will be selling a variety of items they have made - including keyrings, kangaroo purses, and koala pencil-tops - outside the Year 4 classroom.