Tala’s page-turning fundraiser

Tala on a Yellow Bus with her books and collection bucket.

Young Tala Reyes was so keen to raise money for an elephant charity that she vowed to read 30 books in a week during her summer holiday.

The eight-year-old chose proper books with chapters for the ‘sponsored Jumbo Read’ challenge that saw her raise over £600.

For two whole days she ploughed through the pages while sitting on board Yellow Buses so generous passengers could donate money.

The bus company gave her and her mum Viv Glo cards so they could travel around the network for two days to maximise the amount they collected.

The schoolgirl from West Moors has always loved elephants after first seeing them at Paignton Zoo.

She loves them so much that for her seventh birthday she declined to have a party and instead held a fundraiser for the endangered creatures.

Her latest fundraiser saw her whiz through four books a day!

The money will be going to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust that cares for elephants in Kenya.

The Jumbo Read was Tala’s own idea and mum Viv organised it with assistance from West Moors library, which helped her choose the books and checked she had read them.

Tala said: “I fell in love with elephants when I saw them at Paignton Zoo when I was very young.

“I did The Jumbo Read because elephants need help otherwise they will become extinct.

“Too many are being killed for their ivory and then being left to rot. Elephants are beautiful, intelligent creatures. I am upset by what the poachers do to the elephants.”

Mum Viv said: “She is so keen to help elephants that she turned down the chance of a seventh birthday party and has also done a sponsored bike ride that made just over £100 pounds.

“West Moors library and Yellow Buses have been so helpful and the bus passengers have been very generous in donating money.

“Tala got lots of sponsorship for her Jumbo Read and she didn’t her head out of the books for a week!”

Fiona Harwood-Smith from Yellow Buses said: “When we heard what Tala was doing all by herself we were delighted to help.

“Travelling on the buses not only helped her raise money from the passengers but also raised awareness about the elephants she is desperate to help.”