East Bay 6-year-old girl makes bracelets to raise money to help save Oakland Zoo

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. (KGO) -- A 6-year-old girl from the East Bay heard the news that the Oakland Zoo could be closing permanently and felt she had to do something to help save it.

Andy Soulard has been a member of the Oakland Zoo since she was baby. She had an idea to raise money to prevent the zoo from closing for good.

"I'm kinda doing donations, and I'm making bracelets for people to buy," said Andy. "When they donate the money, we give them bracelets."

Andy's mother created the Facebook campaign with an initial goal of $200 dollars. Andy made the first donation with the money she received from the tooth fairy.

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One week later, her campaign has been shared over 1,000 times and has raised over $60,000. Raising money for a good cause isn't new to Andy.

Every birthday, she asks for her friends and family to donate to a charity instead of receiving birthday gifts. As an early birthday gift, she is choosing to help the animals at the Oakland Zoo.



"The idea that this place that we visited so many times and we have been members there for years," said Kelly Soulard, Andy's mother. "We have so many fond memories there. She was really upset at the fact that she might not be able to visit there again."

This summer, Andy had plans to attend summer camp at the Oakland Zoo. Now, she is utilizing her craft by making handmade beaded bracelets to try keep the zoo afloat.

"There are words on them. It says I love Oakland Zoo," said Andy. "Or there's like fancy bracelets."

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"At 6 years old, it makes me so proud and I look forward to what she could do in the future," said Kelly Soulard.

Andy's small act of kindness is making a big impression and inspiring others.

"I know it is such a hard time right now with everything going on," said Soulard. "It has been a really beautiful experience for us to see people that we don't know coming together for a good cause just wanting to keep the zoo around."

Andy plans to raise money as long as the Oakland Zoo needs it. Her handmade bracelets go to those who donate at least $25 or more.




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