“I was only 8 years old when my mom and I became homeless. Once my business took off, I dedicated it to helping local organizations—including the ones that helped us.” — Donovan, age 14
Donovan became so skilled at soap-making that his hobby quickly turned into a small business.
He became the youngest vendor at Rail Yards Market, a local mainstay for handcrafted goods, and he started his own Etsy shop. Business was rolling in.
But from the start, Donovan knew that he wanted to pay it forward.
Immediately, he began donating soaps as well as a large percentage of every sale to the organizations that helped him and his mom in their time of need.
In the last two years alone, Donovan has donated over 20,000 soaps and thousands of dollars to shelters and organizations that help the homeless as well as to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
And in 2017, Donovan’s work caught the attention of Dirty Jobs‘ Mike Rowe, who featured Donovan on his new show and helped him open a storefront called Donovan Discovers in downtown Albuquerque.
Just six years after being homeless himself, Donovan is helping others get back on their feet.
His goal is simple: “If we raise more money, I’d like to hire more day laborers from the shelter. All of the funds go to paying them and buying more supplies to keep my business going.”
And Casey couldn’t be prouder. “Donovan realizes the responsibility that he has and how he can help people.
“We know that soap isn’t going to end homelessness, but it does have an impact. It gives people their dignity back, and it makes our community cleaner.
“People from all over the world have written to Donovan saying he’s inspired them. One little bar of soap has touched people’s lives. If all of us did a little bit of something, the world would be so much better.
“What else could a parent ask for?”