Can-do kid


Jennifer Gilbert


Twelve-year-old Sarah Babb may be small in appearance, but as her grandmother says, she has "big ideas." Her most recent big idea was inspired by her time at a day camp at the DuPage County Animal Care and Control Clinic. Her desire to help the animals there led to the creation of Doggie Love Tubz.

"The first thing I did was ask a friend if she wanted to do it with me," Sarah says.

Sarah chose to present her idea to the Wheaton PETCO, asking the manager if she could place a Love Tub at the front of the store to collect donations.

"I took her there and asked for the manager and then she just took over," says her grandmother Maurlea Babb, who also has a tub in her office.

Her pitch worked and Sarah and her friends made posters and handed out flyers to promote Doggie Love Tubz, asking for supplies ranging from dog food to paper towels to chew toys.

But Sarah, of Wheaton, didn’t stop with the tubs. As an active member of her church, Sarah talked to her pastor about hosting a dog wash to benefit animal shelters. At the time the church had other projects going on, so the pastor was reluctant to agree.

"I talked to him about it and he asked how it fit into it the church’s ministry," Maurlea says. "So I told him that Sarah said that they (dogs) are God’s creatures too and he said OK."

Sarah also baked dog treats and sold them at the wash, ultimately raising $84.

Seventh grade has been a busy one for Sarah, who also participates in soccer, ice skating and Chinese dancing, so when she got the chance to check on her tub at PETCO she discovered there was a new manager and the tub was no longer in the front of the store. Although tubs are still located in her mother’s and grandmother’s offices, she plans on approaching a local PetSmart next.

"I just hope they can use the donations to help clean up the kennels," says Sarah.


4 questions
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Originally I wanted to be a vet, but I’m not too sure about the surgeries and I’d be scared of messing up.

What is your favorite food?
My grandma’s noodles.

What is your weird talent?
I’m the smallest player on my soccer team, but I’m almost the only one to score all season.

Who inspires you and why?
My fourth-grade teacher because she was a good teacher who was really hands-on with things and good at helping people and my grandma because she does stuff to help me out.

Do you know a great kid age 14 and under who’s done something amazing? E-mail names and information to

Kids Eat Chicago

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