Small Kid – Big Heart

By Taylor Mundy

You’re never too small to make a difference.  Just ask eight-year-old Riley Pepler!

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In October 2018, Riley was inspired by the upcoming season of giving and wanted to raise funds to help furry friends in need. With Christmas around the corner, he started making ornaments and selling them by-donation. In two and a half months, Riley made 52 ornaments and raised more than $400!

Determined to double that – Riley set out with a new goal of $1,000!

He kicked off 2019 with a whole new list of ideas from his mom and family – starting with his own birthday. Instead of accepting birthday presents, Riley asked that people make donations to the SPCA in honour of him. He also started hosting bottle drives on a regular basis to collect change to help change pets’ lives.

Riley went to work on Christmas ornaments and teamed up with his memaw to make some handknit items that they could sell to raise money. At the end of the year, they tallied up all of the donations and Riley proudly walked into the Dartmouth SPCA donating……. $1,227.30!! How out-of-this-world wonderful!!

When we asked Riley why he wanted to help shelter pets he explained, “It is important to raise money to help take care of the pets so they can be healthy and have lots of food and toys while they wait for their new family.” We totally agree!

Riley has two dogs at home – one rescued from California and another that was rehomed with them. The whole family are big animal-lovers! “I couldn’t be more proud of Riley and what a sweet caring boy he is,” Riley’s mama, Kelsie, shared. “He worked very hard to make his goals each year that he has done it and last year he went above and beyond. He loves helping others and is always thinking of ways to do it. He donates his time as well and likes to visit the SPCA to cuddle the cats or walk a dog with his mom or dad.”

Riley and his family know that the SPCA does not receive any government funding for our shelters, so donations are especially needed to help save lives.  Ready to hit the ground running or not sure where to start? Riley gave us some advice to share with other kids that are looking to get involved: “Just do what you can. Any little bit helps and you are never too little to try to help. Anyone can raise money! If you need help with ideas or to make your ideas happen, ask for it.”

No matter your age, you can support local animals by fundraising and helping thousands of sick, abandoned and abused animals that need our help every year. A special thank you to Riley and your amazing family for your generosity, kindness, and dedication to helping local animals in need.  You’re truly making a difference.

Taylor Mundy

Taylor is the Communications & Development Officer with the Nova Scotia SPCA and proud adoptive fur-mama to Bonnie. She is passionate about raising awareness and funds for local animals in need.