10-year-old P.E.I. girl raises $10K for charity with T-shirt design
Lily Flanagan is now using her #unstoppablelily to raise money to help animals
Lily Flanagan's love of doodling has turned her into a fundraising machine.
In the last two years, the 10-year-old Stratford, P.E.I., girl has raised more than $10,000 — and counting.
"I just like to draw and every time we'd do art in my class, I'd just be like doodling and stuff," she said.
Lily decided to raise money by selling T-shirts, printed with her own design of a heart.
"I just like to draw hearts. They're like really easy."
I was determined to help them.— Lily Flanagan
She came up with a hashtag that describes her outlook on life — #unstoppablelily — to complete the design.
"Well, it just means never give up and don't let anybody tell you to stop doing what you love."
Her mother, Kate Flanagan, loved the whole idea.
I thought it was sweet and simple and to the point and it's just the whole idea of giving back," Flanagan said.
"Just having her little hashtag on there to really show her desire to help. She was eight years old, so I was pretty proud." Flanagan said.
The next step was to pick a charity. Haiti, which had suffered a devastating earthquake in 2010, was hit hard again by a hurricane two years ago. Lily knew then where her money would go.
"When my mom talked about it with me, and told me that there was a big earthquake there, I was determined to help them."
'These are my shirts'
Not long afterward, the first batch of Lily's T-shirts arrived on her doorstep.
"I was really happy," Lily said. "When the box came in, I was like, 'These are my shirts' and I was pretty excited."
Lily didn't have high hopes of raising a lot of money on her first try. "I thought I'd make a decent $45 because I thought people would be like, 'Well, I already have a whole bunch of T-shirts. I don't need that.'"
She raised more than $1,200 — not bad for an eight-year-old. "I was pretty shocked," Lily said.
Lily's big break came last year, when she was invited to speak at an Arbonne convention her mother was attending in Edmonton.
In front of close to 4,000 people, she talked about overcoming obstacles, including the time she broke her foot during a gymnastics routine, was in a cast for three months, and made a comeback in time for a competition in Florida.
"As soon as I finished my speech, there were no more T-shirts left," Lily said. "Because everybody knew who I was."
Lily had raised more than $10,000 — "probably because people think it's really cool that there's a 10-year-old kid doing a fundraiser."
'Some animals are dying right now'
She hasn't stopped there. Lily is now doing a fundraiser for the PEI Humane Society. She's drawn a dog and a cat in the shape of a heart that will appear on everything from dog bowls to bandanas to collars.
"Some animals are dying right now because they don't have a place to live and I just wanna help them through that."