Young Inventors: Mimi Ausland & Freekibble

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The 11 year old girl who founded Freekibble

Mimi Ausland was nine years old, the minimum age required, when she began to volunteer at her local animal shelter. Only two years later, in 2008, she first began the Freekibble website. She wanted to help feed the animals in her local shelter, but she realized a greater need than just her surrounding area.

It may be a different sort of invention but one that has proven remarkable successful. One that has provided meals to animals across the nation. If you want proof, check out the map featured on Freekibble. Click on your state for a list!

Mimi first got the idea for Freekibble after seeing “,” a food program that provides grains of rice when a person answers a question. The rice is used to help feed those in need. It seemed to Mimi that a similar site could work for feeding animals in shelters too. With the help of her dad, she soon had two websites set up, Freekibble and Freekibblecats. From that small start, the site and Ms. Ausland’s contributions have been incredible.

Ellen DeGeneres Pitches In to Help

Not long after the site was started, Ellen DeGeneres heard of Mimi’s efforts. By then Freekibble had already provided over 135,000 meals to shelter animals. Ellen, and her pet food company, Halo, Purely for Pets, made a very generous donation to Freekibble and then later became her sole sponsor.

Since it began FreeKibble has donated over 2,517,685,000 pieces of kibble. Since it is tracked daily it will be higher still by the time you read this. That equals more than 14 million meals for shelter animals! Not just those in shelters either–kibble is donated to food banks as well.

It’s an amazing work that began with a young girl, the need, and her determination to help. Impressive. Besides that, think of how many other youth that have been inspired by what she has accomplished.

I urge you to visit the FreeKibble site and sign up the the daily email. Not only is it a very fun way to feel involved in helping a little, It is quick and easy besides. You’ll even learn something something new reading the trivia questions. Every day there is a question about dogs and one for cats. Answer the question, and right or wrong, 10 pieces of kibble are donated. I do both every day.

Recently Mimi has expanded Freekibble to include FreeKatLitter and FreekibblePlus when a donation can be made to help supply needs.

There is also an always-worthy monthly cause in Freekibble Cares. April’s focus is to help animals regain their vision.

I hope it inspires you to help, and encourages both you and your children to realize how much you can accomplish whatever your age, once you find your purpose. We are never too young or too old.

Don’t miss the short video here when Mimi is a guest on Ellen’s show.

You can check out FreeKibble right here. I hope you will sign up too. - Help feed dogs and cats for free!


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: merry

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