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8-year-old girl sells homemade pot holders to raise money during OCD Awareness Week

A little sister is pounding the pavement and selling her pot holders door to door to bring awareness to OCD, a cause close to her heart
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 5:37 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - You’re never too young to make a difference, that’s a lesson 8-year-old Ruby Niosi has already learned.

Ruby is hand making and selling pot holders, and donating the money made to the International OCD Foundation during OCD Awareness Week. It’s a cause close to Ruby’s heart because of her older brother, Dexter.

“OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and it affects people of all ages,” said 10-year-old Dexter.

Dexter said he was diagnosed with OCD at eight years old. Usually, he goes to therapy in person, but due to the pandemic, he’s had to switch to TeleHealth. The pandemic has also provided a new challenge for his OCD in the form of another obsession.

“I’m obsessed with wearing my mask when I leave the house, like obsessed,” he said.

“One of the things about Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, the obsessions are basically intrusive thoughts,” said Dexter’s mom, Poppy, describing the rituals and compulsions that can come with OCD.

For example, Dexter described a ritual of feeling the need to pray a specific prayer at night to have to protect his family, or the refusal to eat foods using his hands.

Poppy said it can be hard as a parent to watch your child go through these challenges. However, both Poppy and her husband, Jason Niosi, said they are proud of how far their son has come.

“It’s challenging, we still have our battles, sometimes you regress a little bit then have to work through things again,” said Jason. “It’s just the constant struggle and I’m proud of what he’s done and Ruby to support him with the pot holders.”

Ruby has been packing up a red wagon and pulling it through neighborhoods in Madison, going door to door to sell her pot holders, even pounding the pavement in downtown Madison and pitching her pot holders to people she meets.

“Now I am accomplishing going to different neighborhoods each day, and I think last year I raised 818$ for the OCD foundation,” Ruby said.

“She did,” Poppy said. “It’s amazing to watch.”

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