LINCOLN SQUARE — It's easy to feel a tug at the heartstrings around shelter animals, but how many people do something about it?
Ten-year-old Talia Scott did.
The Rogers Park Montessori fourth-grader started her own charity project called Crochet to Care, and she's raised $150 for suburban Riverwoods animal shelter Orphans of the Storm since January by selling her hand-crocheted ear warmers.
"I just feel really sad because all dogs deserve a really good home," said the Lincoln Square resident.
But knowing that her hard work is going to a good cause?
That makes her "really happy."
Talia got the idea for Crochet to Care after attending a service event on Martin Luther King Jr. day that involved crafting to benefit Chicago area charities.
"We ... talked about doing things for other people," said Talia's mother Lisa Scott, a veterinarian at West Wrigley Animal Hospital. "Orphans of the Storm was there with some dogs and it really touched her."
Talia fell in love with Riley, a 3-year-old Puggle mix. After her parents explained responsible adopting and why they weren't ready for a second family dog, Talia still wanted to help.
"I just kept thinking about the dogs," she said.
Kyla Gardner says Talia just wanted to help:
Talia Scott, 10, and her 3-year-old dog Penelope. (DNAinfo/Kyla Gardner)
Talia was already giving ear warmers to friends and family as gifts, but a friend's mother offered to pay her for one.
"She felt funny about taking money from somebody, but the idea of taking it and putting it to a good cause made a difference," Lisa Scott said. "From there it's just escalated."
Talia has been crocheting furiously for the past few months, and is so dedicated to her cause she has yet to make an ear warmer for herself.
Between the extracurriculars of piano lessons, Hebrew school, basketball, and ice skating, "she's having a hard time keeping up with demand" from teachers, friends and strangers, Lisa said.
Still, the 10-year-old entrepreneur has big plans for the warmer weather — she's increasing her selection by adding coin purses and iPhone cases. Ear warmers sell for $10.
Lisa has "a special daughter and hooray for Talia to take up our cause," said Jackie Borchew, director of development and community outreach at Orphans of the Storm, in an email. "Crochet to Care is quite a unique idea."
Talia has never been to Orphans of the Storm, but the shelter offered to take her and a few friends on a personal tour when she comes by to drop off her donations.
Money raised for the shelter goes toward the care, feeding and medical treatment for the cats and dogs.
“I’m so proud of her, but I always am," said Lisa Scott.
Talia takes orders at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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