'I wanted to donate money and give the animals supplies and food so they can be happy,' the youngster shared.
A young boy's love of cats drove him to raise almost $2,000 for the Idaho Humane Society. Nine-year-old Ben Miller's fundraising campaign started in 2019 when he was visiting the Idaho Humane Society with his grandmother. "I saw that some cats didn't have toys," the young entrepreneur told CNN in an interview. Like many youngsters his age, Ben already had plans to open a lemonade stand at that point, and meeting the shelter animals inspired him to use the money from his sales to help them. The first year, he raised $200 selling lemonade, lavender lemonade, cookies and dog treats.
A 9-year-old boy's love of cats inspired him to raise almost $2,000 for the Idaho Humane Society. https://t.co/yZ4EJGStrB— Local News 8 (@localnews8) April 18, 2022
Ben donated all of the proceeds to the shelter so that they could purchase cat toys and other supplies for their furry residents. He took a break from the project in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but came back strong last year with $600 in sales. This year, Ben walked into IHS beaming with pride and carrying a large plastic bag full of cash—a whopping $1,150 from his most recent lemonade stand venture. "I wanted to donate money and give the animals supplies and food so they can be happy," he told KTVB. "I started two years back and the first time I donated about $200 dollars, and the second time I donated about $600, and this time about $1,150."
Ben Miller, a 9 year old from Boise, raised over $2,000 for the Idaho Humane Society with his lemonade stand!— GOOD (@good) April 12, 2022
"I wanted to donate money and give the animals supplies and food so they can be happy."
He's already making plans for next year's stand!https://t.co/11QIJ2DoMQ pic.twitter.com/ij6cQcVu4P
Ben's proud mom, Amy Miller, revealed that her son has always had a heart for animals; especially cats. "He has just always loved animals, everything from saving rolly pollies on our walks, to reptiles. He loves dogs, buts cats are his favorite. He would spend every dollar of that money adopting every cat here if I would let him," said Miller. "I'm so proud of him and his heart, he makes me so happy." According to the Idaho Humane Society, Ben's donation will be used for veterinary care, food and other supplies for cats.
Boise boy raises close to $2,000 for Idaho Humane Society— Travis Akers (@travisakers) April 10, 2022
9-year-old Ben Miller loves animals, and he has raised a lot of money for IHS with his lemonade stand over the last couple of years. He says it just feels good.https://t.co/uybB7s4T50
We're in the middle of kitten season," explained Kristine Schellhaas, the communications manager for the Idaho Humane Society. "We go through a ton of supplies. In some weeks in the summer, it's not uncommon to adopt between 60 and 90 kittens a week. That's a lot of life-saving care that we do." After Ben's second year of running the lemonade stand to raise money for the IHS, the shelter highlighted his efforts on its social media accounts. The posts caught the attention of other animal lovers and people showed up in droves for the young boy's heartwarming entrepreneurial venture this year. Those who couldn't stop by his lemonade stand sent donations to Ben via Venmo. "A lot of our supporters were thrilled he was giving back," said Schellhaas.
"When we see kids on their own ask for donations it just means the world to us," she shared. "We are always in short supply of cat donations, and since Ben loves cats, we'll definitely use it to help cats! We are just so thankful. Thank you Ben, thank you Ben's family, from the bottom of our hearts." Miller said she was "blown away" by the overwhelmingly positive reaction to her son's initiative. "People traveled from almost an hour away, saying that they had heard about it on the radio, and it was absolutely incredible," she said. "He's always had a big heart but it really just blew me away." Ben hopes to continue the tradition next year, she added. Schellhaas explained that individual donations like Ben's are crucial to the shelter's operations. "A lot of our individual donations do add up," she said. "Every dollar counts. Seeing kids like this is really heartwarming for us. We're so grateful, especially for our youth."