Imagine that you have so much passion for a charity – and from a very young age – that you want to give up almost all your free time to get it off the ground. That’s 12-year-old Darius Brown in a few words.
Miraculously, the New Jersey-born boy has started his own organization called Beaux and Paws, which focuses on making bow ties for shelter dogs. The goal? To make the dogs stand out to potential adoptive parents.
“It really helps if the dog stands out, it makes it more attractive,” says the young activist at the American Today Show. “It makes it easier for the dogs to find a new home… I love all things to do with dogs and cats.”
The passion of young Darius to make beautiful things arose at a very young age. From the age of two, it became clear that the boy’s speech, motor skills and overall development lagged behind others. This motivated his immediate family to stimulate his creativity from an early age.
And this was largely the source of Darius’ business instinct – well, that and his unconditional love for animals.
Joy Brown. 40, the mother of Darius, and also sister Dazhai Brown-Shearz, 22, saw something spectacular in Darius about 4 years ago. It was around this time that Dazhai started her studies – a moment when she and mother, Joy, discovered that the then eight-year-old Darius was very good with a needle and thread. For her studies, Darius’ sister had to cut fabrics, make hair ornaments and sew clothes. Her brother liked to help and let his creative mind run free.
“His faulty fine motor skills didn’t allow him to use his hands – a lace bow was already hard for him,” Dazhai told Today. “My mother and I thought he could help prepare the bow ties. Sewing and trimming the fabrics was easy for him. It was a great success!”
After a lot of practice, Darius started making a new bow tie every day. “I wear a bowtie every day,” Darius said. “Literally everywhere I go.”
When people on the street showed an interest in his choice of clothing, the boy soon knew he could use it in a different way. That was when his Beaux and Paws project started.
For every bow tie sold, Darius transfers some money to the American version of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. The rest of the money goes directly to buying new fabric to make even more bowties. He also gets some of the materials donated by fans of his activities.
“The donations help a lot because we all have to finance it ourselves. We all buy fabrics ourselves,” his mother told Today.
The publicity stunt surrounding his work received so much attention that even former U.S. President Barack Obama contacted the 12-year-old in a letter, expressing his appreciation for his charity.
Impressively enough, it is only the beginning for the young entrepreneur. He has already donated hundreds of bow ties to shelters all over the country. But as we speak, he is still collecting money so he can make and send many more.