Hopkinton koala lover, 8, raising money to aid animals affected by Australian bushfires

South County

HOPKINTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Think back to when you were an 8-year-old and what were you doing. Well, one Rhode Island child is putting us all to shame.

That girl is Alyson Shogren. A charismatic, intelligent third-grade student who attends Ashaway Elementary School.

Did we mention she has a passion for wildlife?

The current ecological disaster half a world away in Australia has caught Alyson’s attention. After all, her favorite animal is the koala.

That was when she emptied her piggy bank and decided to donate $100 to the Queensland Koala Crusaders.

“I thought it was a great idea. But to be honest, I tried to convince her otherwise,” said Alyson’s mom, Brooke Shogren.

Alyson didn’t back down. She insisted that she donate her own money.

That’s when Alyson decided to take her message to social media.

Since Alyson doesn’t have a Facebook account, Brooke posted a video from Alyson, calling on the community to donate as well.

Since the video was posted, Alyson has collected $1,595 in donations.

“I have at least 50 people who have donated,” Alyson said.

She does plan to write each person a “thank you” card, which she said will include a koala fact.

“They don’t get down [out of the tree] and drink from a river,” Alyson said, reading one of her koala facts. “They actually suck it [water] from the eucalyptus leaves because they are way too lazy. They’re even lazier than sloths!”

Brooke said she couldn’t be more proud of her daughter.

“I definitely hope that she understands, even though you are small, she has a voice and she can be heard,” Brooke said.

Want to donate to Alyson’s fundraising campaign? Click here.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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