Quiet Heroes of New Canaan: Margaux Dalipi


Claudia Weber founded Strays & Others animal rescue nearly 40 years ago, and the all-volunteer nonprofit organization has always relied on the generosity of New Canaanites.

Even so, Weber was deeply moved by what Saxe Middle School sixth-grader Margaux Dalipi did last month.

Margaux Dalipi

After saving her allowance for three years, the 11-year-old donated her entire savings of several hundred dollars to Strays & Others.

“She’s inspirational,” Weber said in nominating Margaux for the ‘Quiet Heroes of New Canaan’ series. “I questioned her and I said, ‘I hope you bought something for yourself in those three years.’ And she said, ‘Oh yeah, I did.’ But she said, ‘I’m so happy to do this and now I’m going to save it up again for another three years for someone else.’ ”

In fact, we found out from Margaux’s mom, Jennifer, that the middle-schooler saved 100% of her allowance for those years in order to make the gift.

An animal lover since she was a very young girl, Margaux’s mom recalled that she used to run “Save the Worms” campaigns at home following heavy rainfalls, returning displaced wigglers to the grass and dirt.

For Weber and Strays & Others, the support is “so very important,” she said.

“We are completely volunteer-run,” Weber said. “And if anybody remembers how much it costs to go to the vet with their own pet, say last year, now multiply that by 25, 50. A lot of the animals we have are on specialty foods. That food can cost $100 a month just for food itself. And vet care has just gotten so out of control, the cost of it.”

Margaux presented her gift to Strays & Others at its shelter in Norwalk “and wished us well,” she said.

“She really wanted to help the animals,” Weber said. (There are about 20 animals, primarily cats, currently in the organization’s care and seeking foster and forever homes.)

“We were all so touched and so impressed,” she said. “She came to the shelter, and she and her family—especially some family that was visiting from out of town—stayed there for a few hours visiting with the animals and had a great time.”

Strays & Others takes in dogs as well as cats, and pays to have he dogs boarded at a different shelter, Weber said.

“We can’t save an animal’s life without having the support from the community, that’s the bottom line,” she said. “So to get this meaningful gift from this special young lady was really just wonderful.”

Strays & Others can be reached at straysandothers@hotmail.com. The organization seeks volunteers to work with both cats and dogs, and also is seeking a volunteer to help with special events, fundraising, PR and administrative work. 

[Editor’s Note: This is a new installment of our periodic “Quiet Heroes” series. We’re accepting nominations for it, see guidelines here.]

6 thoughts on “Quiet Heroes of New Canaan: Margaux Dalipi

  1. What an impressive and compassionate young person. Such a selfless act at such a young age-your parents must be very proud of you, Margaux!

  2. A young persons Kindness and Compassion + Support and Guidance from parents = A bright future for Margaux and renewed hope for us all… Truly Inspirational..

  3. I absolutely love this story!!! Outstanding example of selflessness and compassion that we need so much more of in this world. What an example to set – especially for such a worthy cause in need of more support!

  4. This act not only required sacrifice and charity, it also required discipline to save for so long and stay focused on her goal. She has lit up the shelter as well as her family with happiness.

  5. Margaux, your grandfather shared this article with me. I am delighted he did.
    Our communities need compassionate and generous young people like you.
    You are a role model for your generation and I hope others will recognize your selflessness and contribute their efforts to make our world a better place.

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