Rancho Santa Fe youth helps save the lives of family pets in San Diego


The average 13-year-old might be caught spending their free time surfing the web, watching movies with friends, or spending their days in the sun, but Maranda Phillips is not your average 13-year-old. Maranda, a resident of Rancho Santa Fe, chooses to utilize her spare time to help save local family pets. The results of her efforts are truly inspirational.

This is Maranda’s fifth year donating to an animal charity, and her third year supporting the FACE Foundation (

). Five years ago she “adopted” a tiger at the San Diego Zoo. The year after that, Maranda made a donation to the Rancho Coastal Humane Society. She has always had a passion for helping animals in need and was inspired to donate to organizations that did just that. When asked what she loved about animals, Maranda simply stated, “They are just like us, they don’t speak, but they understand you.”

Inspired by her 5-year-old Cavalier Spaniel named Missy, Maranda began to design Holiday Bottles to raise money. She adds lights inside each bottle to give them a personal, decorative touch. With the help of a co-op group of women in Armenia who hand-knit the fun bottle toppers, as well as assistance from The Bridges in Rancho Santa Fe, which donates the recycled bottles to Maranda, she has been able to make hundreds of bottles over the years.

Maranda chose FACE as her organization for the third time in a row this year. The Foundation for Animal Care and Education (FACE) saves family pets by providing access to life-saving veterinary care when their owners are unable to cover all or part of their urgent medical care expenses. FACE acknowledges and thanks Maranda for her encouraging and moving acts of kindness and selflessness. Executive Director Stacy Steel, comments, “I have never met a more driven and passionate young individual with as much charisma and dedication to animal welfare as Maranda.” When asked why she chose FACE, Maranda explained, “I thought about how terrible it would be if Missy got hurt and we couldn’t afford it...she’s like a sister to me...I would be really grateful if someone donated money to save her.”

Maranda raised over $1,500 for FACE in 2009 by creating roughly 45 personalized bottles. Last year, Maranda raised a remarkable $3,880 selling around 60 of her homemade decorative bottles and other items to benefit the FACE Foundation. This year, she is holding her 5th Annual Open House on Dec. 4 from 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. Clothing, candles and jewelry will also be on sale at the event.

Maranda’s inspirational project will hopefully inspire others to get involved in a charity they care about. You do not have to be an adult to make a difference in a person’s or an animal’s life. You can be 8 years old (the age Maranda started) with a passion to help others, even total strangers.

For more details of the Open House or to purchase a “Holiday in a Bottle,” please email Maranda at