Instead of presents, 9-year-old girl asks for donations to be sent to Humane Society
Birthdays had become kind of old for Alice Creel.
Year after year, people brought presents for the young girl – she would use some of them, while others collected dust. When she couldn't remember what gifts she got for her eighth birthday, the Cloverly Elementary School student decided a change was needed.
"She said … I want to remember what I did,'" said Alice's mother, Amy Creel, an Ashton resident.
So this year, when Alice turned 9 years old, she asked that gifts be sent to the Montgomery County Humane Society. Before her birthday party, her family had adopted a puppy from the center that they named Roxy. The family currently has two cats and previously had a German shepherd.
"There are so many dogs in the shelter and when dogs come, there needs to be stuff for them, too," Alice said of donating.
More than 100 items from the party, including dog food, leashes and gifts for other shelter animals, were sent to the shelter June 1.
Alice's mother said her daughter was quiet when they dropped off the donations but was excited to give back.
"She has always been very interested in animals," Amy Creel said. "When she started to learn about the shelter … she [became] more aware of the whole issue."
A page on the humane society's Web site has a "wish list" of items needed for the center, which range from towels to office equipment. The list changes as needs arise for various items, said B.J. Altschul, spokeswoman for Montgomery County Humane Society.
Altschul said about one child a month donates birthday gifts to the society.
"It's a thrill for us every time it happens," Altschul said. "The kids win, the animals win. … [It] shows that young people are thinking outside of themselves. [It's] much more impressive when young people take it upon themselves and show the initiative. …They're going to be wonderful pet parents."
Parents also feel a change, Amy Creel said. Shopping for donations creates a family experience, she said, which is different than the typical birthday shopping trip, where proximity often trumps what's given.
"It's sort of a mindless activity," she said.
As for the new dog, Alice said Roxy has potential as a pet. "I like Roxy," she said. "I think she will be a lot more fun when she gets trained."
-For more information about donating to the Montgomery County Humane Society, go to www.mchumane.org/
-To see the humane society's wish list, go to www.mchumane.org/