A Pawfect Act: Northbrook teen raises $ 1,000 for animal shelter
NORTHBROOK, IL – Despite her allergy to cats and dogs, Mia Willentzik loves animals. The 13-year-old Northbrook resident recently showed her affinity for some furry friends when she raised over $ 1,000 for Orphans of the Storm, an animal shelter based in Riverwoods.
“Ever since I was very young I’ve always had a connection with animals, so I wanted to give back to them,” Willentzik, a student at Wood Oaks Junior High School, told Patch. “I had an animal encyclopedia that I read religiously every day. I always wanted to be with them.”
Willentzik’s charitable work had a dual purpose as she was able to help a cause close to her heart and also use the effort for her bat mitzvah project. In addition to the money, she also collected blankets for the shelter.
Willentzik said the family had two cats, which were adopted by Orphans of the Storm, but they had to give them away due to his allergies.
According to his mother, Sue Zeiler, Willentzik never liked princesses or other things that some girls gravitate towards. She always picked up stuffed animals.
“She could identify all the animals when she was 2 years old,” Zeiler said. “I remember a family reunion and there was a stuffed animal. She said it was an ocelot. No one knew what an ocelot was. She was absolutely right.”
Willentzik, who recently visited Orphans of the Storm, located at 2200 Riverwoods Road, said she was moved by the joy of the animals to have people there to see them.