NEWARK, N.J. - A 12-year-old boy from New Jersey hand-makes stylish bow ties for animals in shelters to help get them adopted, and now he's aiming to visit several shelters to provide hands-on help.
Darius Brown loves his four-legged friends and when he learned about all the animals who were displaced from hurricanes Harvey and Irma, he wanted to figure out a way to help.
Darius was diagnosed with speech, comprehension and fine-motor-skill delays when he was 2 years old. At the age of 8, he started making bow ties while helping his sister, Dazhai Brown-Shearz, cut fabric while she was in cosmetology school. It was also a way to improve his motor skills.
Because he loved creating the cute items, he decided to start a small business and sell his stylish bow ties.
But once he saw the damage from the hurricanes and that animals from Puerto Rico and Texas were taken to shelters in New York and other states, he decided to donate his bow ties in an effort to get those animals adopted.
"During this time, Sir Darius learned that every year thousands of dogs are euthanized at some shelters if they are not adopted in time due to limited space," a GoFundMe page stated. "When he learned of this horrific act, he was beyond devastated. A dog lover himself, this was the beginning of Sir Darius's mission to help dogs and cats across the nation as much as he could."
Since then, Darius has donated about 200 bow ties to shelters and adoption agencies all over the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
He also came up with the name for his business, calling it Beaux and Paws.
Darius plans to donate 150 more bow ties this summer and is making it his goal to visit shelters and agencies in five or more states where he can offer hands-on help for his furry friends. He's calling it his "Pawsome Mission."
A GoFundMe page was created with a goal of raising $10,000. The money will provide Darius with more supplies to make the bow ties, a new sewing machine and money to pay a registration fee to make Beaux and Paws a 501c3. The money raised will also provide funds for creating a website and help to pay for shipping fees to send bow ties to shelters and adoption centers he can't physically visit.
In addition to helping animals, Darius has also created bow ties for local proms and donated some to a family who lost their mother.
In 2018, he even received a letter from former President Barack Obama, who commended him for his community service.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.