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Girl makes homemade dog treats, raises funds for fire victims

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    Mikayah Steigerwalt goes to work on a batch of her homemade dog treats. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

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    Mikayah Steigerwalt stands next to a table full with her homemade natural dog treats. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Published May 08. 2019 02:24PM


Mikayah Steigerwalt has two loves: baking and dogs.

About a month ago, the 9-year-old Andreas girl found a way to combine the two.

Steigerwalt started baking when she was 4 years old.

To the question of why she loves it so much, she simply answers, “I just like making stuff for people.”

One day, Steigerwalt decided to make the family’s 4-year-old pup Lilly some treats. She also baked some up for her mother to pass out to her co-workers with dogs. Positive feedback poured in, and Steigerwalt was ready to take her passion to the next level.

And thus, Kayah’s Kitchen was born.

“She does this herself. Her work ethic is incredible,” Steigerwalt’s mother, Jennifer, said.

Steigerwalt’s business carries five varieties of treats, including gluten-free and grain-free options. They’re made from ingredients straight from her pantry and are fit for human consumption, although Steigerwalt doesn’t suggest eating them (she speaks from experience).

In the past few weeks of her business’s existence, Steigerwalt has already produced hundreds of treats. That’s partially because through the month of April, she donated 50 percent of each sale to a family who lost their home, dog and six chicks in a fire in Mahoning Township on April 15.

Steigerwalt remembers first learning about the fire from the newspaper. She immediately felt sorry for the family, the Bauers.

“They lost everything,” Steigerwalt said.

If you ask Steigerwalt if she’s a dog or cat person, she answers the former without hesitation. They’re her favorite animal; she loves huskies especially. Jennifer said knowing that the family had not only lost their home, but one of their pets, really moved her daughter to act.

“I think one of the things for her is that family lost a dog in that fire,” Jennifer said. “I think instantly that made a huge impression.”

Steigerwalt’s goal was just like her: ambitious. She wanted to raise $100 for the Bauers.

As of April 30, Steigerwalt said she collected around $200.

“I feel good,” she said.

“It restores your faith in humanity,” Jennifer said. “Just to see like all these people coming forth and supporting this fundraiser, whether they know the people or not, that’s the kind of stuff that restores your faith.

“Sometimes you feel like there’s not a whole lot of good people left in the world. I learned there’s still a lot just in the last two and a half weeks.”


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