Zoe’s Story

Story Summary

It’s impossible not to smile when you meet Zoe. You may even giggle a little bit. Her charm is infectious.

“I’m a crafty girl with a big idea,” her Instagram account proclaims. “I make warm hats to match inner animal personalities for the kids that have to live in local hospitals.”

The dynamic sixth-grader taught herself to finger knit by watching YouTube videos. Each hat takes anywhere from one to two hours to complete, the twists and loops resulting in delightful frogs, owls, elephants, lions, and bears (oh my!) which she then sells to benefit Shriners Children’s® Northern California. “I didn’t know anybody that was treated in the hospital or a patient or anything like that,“ Zoe explains. “I was thinking it would be cool to donate hats there and proceeds because they still have [patients with] burns and, like, a lot of different things up there. I thought it would be really cool to give back.”

And so she set out on a simple task: to create finger-woven hats that would keep sensitive scalps warm and spread joy to the Shriners Children’s patients. What started as a donation of hats quickly grew into a sales booth at the local farmer’s market and then online sales through her Instagram account, @zany_zebra_zoo. By her estimate, she’s made somewhere between 60 to 70 hats of 11 different animal varieties and donated approximately $1,023 to Shriners Children’s Northern California.

Zoe’s success lies not just in her talent but also in her sincerity. Inspired by her grandma’s battles with cancer, she looked for ways to serve others. “I just really enjoy helping out kids that need it. I felt that using creativity and making things that I love to make would be just a great thing to do, especially if it helps other people.” When asked what she would say to encourage others to get involved in supporting Shriners Children’s, Zoe offered the following advice: “Just create all these good ideas that you think would be able to help people, even if it’s just one person, and go for it. Even if it’s a struggle, you have to just keep trying and don’t give up on it because it could turn into something amazing.”

Shriners Children’s invites you to join Zoe in supporting The Most Amazing Care Anywhere. Visit our fundraising options to learn more about online fundraising, donating your birthday, or hosting a Proud Supporter event.

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