Only phone them Santa and Mrs. Claus … er, Paws.
Jack Bittner and Lily Cooley, both 8, decided to forgo birthday gifts this year in favor of helping raise funds and collect supplies for a nearby animal shelter.
“My birthday is close to Christmas, and I get a great deal of items for Christmas,” Bittner told Rochester, New York’s ABC 13 of his own choice to assist. “I like dogs and cats.”
The two partnered with Melissa Cocola of K-9 Creekside Lodge to provide the goodies — plus a $300 cash contribution — to Newark’s Humane Society of Wayne County and its own executive director, Mark Plyter.
“I am feeling a little helpless,” Plyter told ABC. “There is so much bad stuff on the market in the Earth, and to see, in our little Wayne County, the empathy.”
Cocola, Bittner and Cooley popped into the shelter earlier this week equipped with essentials like food, paper towels, bleach and kitty litter (plus toys!) . The Humane Society takes in as many as 1,500 pets each year, and depends on donations, fundraising and grants to make ends meet. The $300 in cash will go toward the price of a brand new drop and the license to construct it.
Plyter reported the surprise was especially going, considering the children “rather than thinking of themselves to their birthday celebration and having people bring them birthday presents, they need[ed] to give back.”
The reasoning was straightforward, however, Cooley explained: “I believe animals should likewise have Christmas.”