Local woman raising money to help pets impacted by California wildfires

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – As the California wildfires continue to ravage the west coast, it’s inspired a young woman here in KELOLAND to lend a hand where she can.

Back in February, we introduced you to Lincoln High School senior Anika Nelson. She made and sold shirts that looked like this to benefit wildlife impacted by the Australian Bushfires.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Koala-Shirts.jpg
Courtesy: AussieKoalaCo. via Instagram

While those fires were finally put out in May, her passion to help those in need can’t be extinguished. In February, she raised 500 dollars in custom t-shirt sales to benefit wildlife in Australia during the bushfires.

“But it wasn’t just me. So, I think it’s nice that we can all feel like we helped,” Nelson said.

Today, with the fires that are ravaging the west coast, her latest mission hits a lot closer to home.

“A few friends of mine have moved out to California, and, so, just knowing that they could be impacted, it just…. it just hurts,” Nelson said.

That was the spark that inspired her to team up with her father Graphic Designer Johnathan Nelson for a new fundraiser.

“It’s nice to see her open up her big heart and try to help others, and anything that I can do to help it’s nice to work together with her to come up with something that helps others,” Johnathan said.

The design features a dog and cat inside of a heart.

Via Western U.S. Fires Animals Fundraiser webstore.

They’re selling shirts with it printed on through Dakota Lettering’s webstore. They have selections that range from t-shirts, to long sleeves, to hoodies. Each one goes for 20 dollars and 100 percent of the proceeds benefit the RedRover foundation.

“They have a lot of resources that are for anybody who’s dealing with issues with their pets, if they find pets, if they need housing,” Johnathan said.

“It just takes one leaf, one tree to start a fire that can cause millions of acres to be burned which impacts habitats and ecosystems,” Nelson said.

As long the fires continue to spread along western America, the Nelsons will continue to spread awareness about how we can come together and help.

“We’re just going to keep doing an order every two weeks; if the demand is there, we’ll just keep placing more orders,” Johnathan said.

“I think it’s good to just help any way you can – even if that’s just donating to any charity organization out there,” Nelson said.

If you’d like to purchase a shirt, you can visit the Western U.S. Fires Animals Fundraiser webstore at Dakota Lettering’s website.

To learn more about the benefit on donating these funds, visit the RedRover website.

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