Ten-year-old Kashton Weinber of Belleville is making a difference.
Two years ago he started his own business, Kash’s Kreations. Using a woodworking set given to him by his parents, he makes wood and rope robots, key chains and decorative fish out of driftwood.
In those two years, Weinber has donated $2,000 to local animal welfare agencies.
“Each sale that I make I donate 50 per cent of the proceeds towards animals,” he said. “Quinte Humane Society and Fixed Fur Life, I’ve donated to them the most.”
Fixed Fur Life helps to find homes for animals and provides subsidies to low-income families to spay and neuter pets.
The rest of the money he has earned has been put back into his business.
Until recently, Weinber sold his products at arts and craft shows, but that changed a month ago when he met Steve Hannah, who co-owns Reiki on Wheels Natural Products and Gifts.
Hannah said he was inspired by the young entrepreneur, and after a conversation with his partner, he had a proposition for Weinber.
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“He’s such a young entrepreneur, seriously 10 years old, that’s awesome,” Hannah said. “So we thought we’re going to donate some space in the store for him to sell his stuff.”
That full-time space also gives Weinber another platform to advocate for causes he cares about.
Beyond local animal welfare, Weinber is raising awareness about global animal trafficking.
The young businessman says he doesn’t want to see any more animals go the way of the Western Black Rhino, which was poached into extinction for its horn made out of keratin.
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Weinbar fears the same fate awaits the Pangolin, a scaly anteater that is also endangered, and like the Western Black Rhino’s horn, the Pangolin’s scales are also made of keratin.
“People are poaching them and putting scales into medicine and it has no medicinal benefit.”
The forward-thinking Weinber says it’s more than just a love of animals that makes him act and speak out.
“When I grow up, I don’t want to have to explain to my kids that all these animals in pictures and books are extinct because humans are poaching them.”