One amazing thing about kids is their complete lack of understanding about, well, most things. They still don’t know how a lot of the world works, so they come up with out-of-the-box solutions that most adults would’ve never considered. They don’t have the internalized limitations that many of us develop over the years, so they truly believe that they can do anything. When 8-year-old Rhys Stevens learned about animals in danger thousands of miles away, he knew the distance didn’t matter. He had to help.
Animal-loving Rhys lives in Willingham, England, but recently learned about markets in China that sell dog meat. To the determined 8-year-old, this practice was unacceptable. Dogs were in danger, and Rhys was going to save them.
With the help of his mom Kathleen Stevens, the duo found a charity with the same goal as Rhys. The non-profit organization China Rescue Dogs transports dogs from Chinese meat markets to North America, rehabilitating them and finding them forever homes.
Together, mom and son planned a fundraiser for the life-saving charity. Rhys planned to bike 100 miles, and Kathleen started a Facebook page to raise money for the 8-year-old’s honorable mission. Spread out over several days, Rhys hit the road. Invigorated by the support of his community and his determination to help as many dogs as possible, he surpassed his goal on March 27.
“HES DONE IT!!” Kathleen wrote on Facebook. “A total of 106 miles! We are incredibly proud of Rhys and admire his determination and commitment to his fundraiser. We want to say a MASSIVE thank you to everyone that has supported him and donated. He has raised over £5300 which is absolutely incredible! Every penny will go to China Rescue Dogs to help them rescue dogs from the meat trade in China and get them loving homes.”
When the fundraiser closed, the heroic 8-year-old had raised nearly $9,000. He exceeded his initial goal, the $2,500 it would cost to transport a 1.5-year-old husky named Lola to the United States. Thanks to Rhys and those who generously contributed, several dogs will finally get the lives they deserve.