Anywhere you go there's a chance that there is an animal shelter nearby, most likely over-flowing and packed to the brim with pets eagerly awaiting their forever home. While many of us with a passion for pets and a desire to see every homeless pet find the family they deserve, we can't take them all (unfortunately.) Most of the time, we do little more than try to raise awareness and encourage families to consider adoption when they're ready to expand the fur-side of their family!
But 12-year-old Darius Brown is not like the rest of us. He's a young man of action, with a goal and a purpose, not to mention a sense of determination and a heaping dose of creativity. He saw a problem: pets need homes, and he decided to be a part of the solution in a creative and wonderful way!
Living in New Jersey, Darius is described frequently as having a "heart of gold." It probably came as no surprise to those who know him best that he wanted to do something fun to help cats and dogs get adopted at shelters everywhere.
Darius makes handmade bows and donates them to shelters, hoping that the added flare of color and personality will catch the eyes and hearts of people quicker, ensuring these deserving fur-babies find their forever homes.
According to loved ones:
At the age of 2, Sir Darius was diagnosed with speech, comprehension, and fine motor skills delay. He never let his challenges stop him from accomplishing his goals.
When Darius was 8, though, he found himself interested in making bow-ties. Alongside the help of his sister, he would cut fabric to help develop and improve his fine motor skills.
Just a few years later at the age of 11, Darius founded a pet couture company “Beaux & Paws” specializing in unique and stylish bow ties for people and their furry family members!
As a young CEO, Darius has donated countless bow ties to animal shelters and adoption centers across the USA and the United Kingdom!
Today, Darius has almost 45,000 followers on his Instagram account, every single one who admires and supports his dedication to such a worthy cause.
Darius is a dog-lover, and it was after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in 2017 that he became inspired to help. The hurricanes left nearly countless pets stranded without homes and they were displaced and transferred to shelters all across the country. With so many displaced pets, and not nearly enough potential families ready to adopt, many of the pets were facing euthanasia. With his kind heart and passion for animals, Darius found himself determined to hep these rescued pets fully achieve the second chance they eared when they survived the hurricanes to begin with.
Most importantly, he wasn't all-talk. His determination quickly became a reality. His skill, creativity, and craftmanship have turned thousands of shelter residents into cute and elegant pets ready to go home any minute.
His efforts are precisely the sort of thing people love to hear about, and at only 12-years-old, Darius has gained a lot of popularity. His story and efforts have been featured in both online publications and even national TV shows and he's caught the eyes and attention of many public figures, celebrities and influencers, including Allen Houston, Kenya Moore, and Les Brown, to name a few.
In 2018, former president Barrack Obama honored Darius with a letter of recognition in which he commended the young altruist for commitment to community service:
From founding Beaux and Paws to lifting up the lives of those around you, it’s clear you are doing your part to look out for your fellow citizens. And I trust you take tremendous pride in all you have accomplished. As long as you stay engaged in the world around you, continue looking for ways to help others and never give up on yourself, I’m confident our future will be bright.
Darius Brown has had a plethora of other recognition and awards, each very well-deserved, for his efforts including: he has received the Leadership Award from Leaders of the Future No Limits, Outstanding Achievement Award from the WDIB Conference, the Youth Changer Award from “Excel Honors” and he will be receiving the Jasmina Anema Youth Award from the “Black Cotton Foundation” in July 2019.
Currently, Darius also speaks at events to encourage other people to get involved in their communities and help dogs and cats find their forever homes.
Recently, Darius set a goal of visiting more than 5 states to volunteer at different shelters and adoption centers and he plans to bring along his creative bow-tie work, providing them to the shelters!
To help him achieve his goal, his sister, Dazhai, launched a fundraising campaign inviting people to help him achieve his pawesome goals.
Dazhai is 21-years old, but she is inspired by her amazing little brother:
He motivates and inspires me everyday. He is such an incredible young man and I will do everything I can to help him on his journey. I’m supporting him in his cause 100% and I hope you will join me. No donation is too small!
In an interview with NY Post earlier this year, Darius said:
These dogs need to be adopted, and I wanna help them get noticed.
Jody Salbo, director of business management and operations at the ASPCA Adoption Center said:
When animals wear special accessories like bow ties, bandanas or scarves, it often helps catch the eyes of potential adopters. he ASPCA Adoption Center team has enjoyed using [Darius’] bow ties to promote the dogs in our shelter.
Once upon a time, Darius found himself in tears, seeing dogs online who needed homes, saying, "I just wanted to help them and make them feel safe and find them forever homes."
In the interview with NY Post, Darius also said:
I just love, love dogs. I’m here so I can help [them] look good and find a forever home.
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