QUEEN CREEK, AZ - A little girl’s passion for pigs has turned into a family affair and a labor of love.
"I was looking at Fat Gilbert, my little runt and I was looking at his nose and I said, 'Mom this looks familiar what does it do?' And she goes it helps them dig in the ground so they can wallow,'" said 9-year-old Rhiannon Bevacqua.
It was that day Rhiannon fell in love with pigs and decided to ask her mom if they could help other pigs.
“And then I said, 'Hey why don't we buy these white stockings and dye them pink and then buy some buttons and fabric paint,'" Rhiannon asked.
So, the two started to make and sell little stuffed pigs sending the proceeds to the Ironwood Pig Sanctuary.
“I’d like to help the pigs have a better life,” Rhiannon said.
Originally, it was just Rhiannon and her Mom making and selling the stuffed toys, but then their efforts expanded.
“Initially, I just helped her make the pigs, but now that she’s made about 912 pigs we have an assembly line going with the rest of the family,” said Rhiannon’s Mom, Lori.
Now the whole family is involved and they take the stuffed pigs to local farmers' markets to sell.
“We’re gonna continue to make pigs until we can’t do it anymore,” Lori said.
The family is hoping to raise more money by selling the pigs at different venues.
“I feel pretty happy that they [pigs] get to live. That they live a long life,” Rhiannon said.
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