Brynley Lavayen loves helping animals in any way that she can.

In August 2023, a series of wildfires broke out on the island of Maui, Hawaii. One FishHawk girl who attends Bevis Elementary School, Brynley Lavayen, was very concerned for the welfare of the animals on the island exposed to that fire. She has a passion for animals, and she knew this wildfire had to have a negative impact on the animals in Maui. She decided that she needed to find a way to help.

After brainstorming ideas with her mom, 8-year-old Brynley began making and selling necklaces to raise money for a couple of animal rescues on the island. Brynley sells her necklaces through word of mouth, social media sites and in-person events at Peacefield Farm Sanctuary in Gainesville.

Customers can make specific requests for necklace designs, such as picking a chain or ribbon and choosing a charm or even a birthstone. The cost of each necklace is $15.

Brynley’s mom, Heather Lavayen, said, “Brynley has lived her whole life helping animals. She is a huge vegan and animal rights advocate. When we were speaking about the Maui wildfires, she knew that this would greatly impact wildlife and animals (as well as people), so she decided to make necklaces to sell. We work a lot with Peacefield Farm Sanctuary (owned by John and Emma Hoel) and knew they had friends in rescue in Maui. We asked for recommendations for rescues that were in the area that were affected by the wildfires.”

As of now, Brynley has raised over $1,000 from selling these necklaces. Every dollar donated through the purchase of a necklace is split and sent directly to two animal rescues in Maui: the Good Cat Network and Leilani Farm Sanctuary. The Good Cat Network rescues cats and kittens from Maui and puts them into good homes on the mainland (since Maui is overcrowded with feral cats). Leilani Farm Sanctuary rescues cats and farm animals.

To find out more information about these animal rescues, visit and

To find out how to support Brynley in her efforts to help animals impacted by the wildfires in Maui, contact her mom at

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Ashley Abene
Ashley Abene has written for the Osprey Observer since 2023. She has a master’s degree in writing and literature and a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from the University of South Florida. She has taught college-level writing and literature at USF and Southeastern University for over nine years. She’s a blogger at Peace Filled Family and enjoys writing children’s books. She’s also a mom to three kids, and her husband has been serving in the military for over 20 years.