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Recycled ropes to dog leashes, Redmond teen finds unique way to give back to his community during pandemic

Alexander Tsao created Rocks 2 Dogs, a nonprofit organization that recycles rock climbing ropes into dog leashes. He's using the profits to help give back.

REDMOND, Wash. — A Redmond High School student is taking his love for animals and rock climbing and using it as a way to help the environment while also giving back to his community during the coronavirus pandemic

Alexander Tsao has been rock climbing for about five years, and when he discovered that climbing gyms discard their old climbing ropes every few months due to safety regulations he saw an opportunity to help the environment. 

"I thought this was a huge waste and really harmful to the environment so I decided to make a better use for them and use it to donate to a good cause," said Tsao. "I turn these ropes into dog leashes which I sell donating all of the profit to local animal shelters and animal charities." 

That's how Rocks 2 Dogs was born, a 501(c) nonprofit started by Tsao that is not only helping local animal shelters but now another sector of the community in need. 

"Rocks 2 dogs is a 501(c) nonprofit, however, due to COVID-19 there’s been a lot of unemployment, so I decided to start fundraising for local food banks in order to help them during this pandemic," said Tsao. 

Tsao has been volunteering at Hopelink, a food bank in Redmond, for about six years and through his nonprofit has now sold about 300 leashes raising $5,000 for the food bank. 

He does it all with the help of his best friend, rescue dog Jinger, a 10-year-old Labradoodle who reps Tsao's recycled leashes. 

People interested in donating to Rocks 2 Dogs can find more information here.

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