The remarkable youth from HAPPE

Girls found Helping Animals, People, Places and the Environment (HAPPE) to fundraise for Best Friends Animal Society and other nonprofits.
By David Dickson

Plenty of girls enjoy making crafts. Far fewer, however, use those skills to help others to the degree a small group of youth from Florida has. Recently, these impressive kids brought a donation of $902 to Best Friends – funds they raised themselves.

Julia Godfrey holding a rabbit at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Julia and a friend

And how’d they raise it? By selling one duct tape wallet at a time. Yes, wallets – and even purses – made entirely out of duct tape.

Fundraiser for Best Friends

Two years ago, Florida’s Joyce Penrod brought her granddaughter Julia to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary for a volunteer visit. They had such a blast that last year, Julia’s cousin Tatum joined. Before they came to Best Friends, Julia and Tatum decided to hold a fundraiser for Best Friends. On that visit, they donated an impressive $400 to Best Friends.

On their third and most recent trip, Julia’s younger sister Hannah also joined, along with their mother Jessica. Grandma Joyce was on cloud nine. "I’m absolutely loving having my whole family here!" Joyce said. As with last year, the girls first raised money for Best Friends by selling their crafty wares. The majority of their $902 donation went to the Bunny House, one of their favorite areas.

Helping Animals, People, Places and the Environment (HAPPE)

Hannah Godfrey holding a guinea pig at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Hannah and Godfrey

It’s impressive enough what they do for Best Friends, and yet their efforts have grown into something even bigger back home. Julia, Tatum and Hannah have teamed up with two other girls their age – Sami and Matija – to form a group called Helping Animals, People, Places and the Environment (HAPPE).

In only six months since starting HAPPE, these five middle-school-age girls have been knocking it out of the park. "We do any kind of fundraising we can think of," says Julia. "We sell homemade crafts, we make duct tape wallets, things like that."

Their efforts assist a wide variety of organizations in addition to Best Friends. They’ve done toy drives for local animal groups, fundraising for a village in Uganda, as well as other projects. Clearly, these girls want to give back. Heck, they even use their birthdays to help out. "For our birthdays, we’ll ask for a small dog toy and then we’ll donate them," says Tatum.

They’re always on the lookout for ways to sell their crafts to raise money for one cause or another. Says Jessica, Hannah and Julia’s mom, "We keep [the crafts] in the trunk, and when we can peddle it, we peddle it."

Volunteer time at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary

Tatum Godfrey holding a bunny at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
Tatum makes a friend.

While in Kanab, they stayed in town six days, volunteering all around the Sanctuary. "It’s very fun," says 11-year-old Hannah about her first trip.

It was Jessica’s first time to Best Friends, too. Before coming out, she’d been thinking this would be the last such trip for a little while. She thought her daughters should perhaps start taking vacations to places closer to home. That all changed, however, once she joined her daughters this year. "Now I can’t wait to come back," Jessica says.

Amazing what can start with a little duct tape and a lot of ingenuity.

Additional information

Want to do some fundraising of your own but don’t know where to start? Check out this collection of creative fundraising ideas.

Volunteer Stories