Arizona Republic:

Raising money for charity usually involves asking other people for donations of money or items for a raffle or auction.

Taylor Berey, on the other hand, is taking matters into his own hands – literally.

The seventh-grader at Altadeña Middle School in Ahwatukee Foothills has been baking and selling organic dog treats to raise money to send homeless children to the zoo.

So far, Taylor has raised $5,800 selling one-pound bags of treats for $7 each, and the orders are still pouring in. Because he exceeded the amount he needs, he’ll use the extra to give the kids a treat, such as a carousel or tram ride or a gift bag.

Taylor found recipes on the Web, and the family dog, Buster, was the taste-tester. The treats are made with wheat flour, honey, eggs and no preservatives. Taylor bakes batches almost every day after school and on weekends.

Like any good businessman, he’s partnered with others to push his idea. Smelly Dog dog wash in Phoenix and Pretty Paws groomer in Ahwatukee sell his treats.

Along the way, he’s learned valuable business skills such as marketing, customer service, public speaking and how to keep a checkbook.

Taylor said he is thinking of keeping the operation going as a for-profit after the kids go to the zoo next spring so he can save money for college, meaning he could possibly be a company president before he reaches high school. But, he added, he’ll continue to donate a portion of sales, perhaps 20 percent, to organizations such as the Pappas schools and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Photo by It’sGreg.

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