Birthday Party Idea - Gifts for an Animal Shelter

When my husband was turning 60, we decided that since he didn't really want the guests to bring gifts, we'd find something else to do.
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So, on the invitations, I put: "The gift of your presence will be present enough. However, if you feel you would like to give him something, please bring any type/kind of pet food, to be donated to a local shelter in his name."

This was a huge success! All the guests brought an enormous amount of dog/cat food, cat litter and treats. When we loaded up my car's trunk with the items, we added up the pounds, as we went. Just for our own curiosity.

The next day, we went to our local Humane Society. We went inside and my husband told the receptionist, he'd brought pet items to donate. The young girl behind the counter, told him to just bring it in and sit it on a chair, across from the desk.

My husband said - I have a LOT of food, and will need help. She got a helper, and they went outside to my car. They brought in the first load, and the second girl told the receptionist, they have a lot; we will need another helper.

All in all, our generous family and friends gave my husband - to donate - an amazing 265 pounds of food/litter, and $58 in cash.

My husband, who loves animals, was very touched by the amount he was able to donate, in honor of his 60th birthday!

As they kept bringing in the food, I mentioned to those present, how he got the items. The Humane Society staff, and a few of the visitors, said it was a very cool idea, one they had never heard of before.

My husband received a very nice "Thank You" letter from the Director of the Humane Society.

I encourage others to do this for other special celebrations. It helps everyone.

By KJ from Gilcrest CO

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August 25, 20080 found this helpful

I think this is the most wonderful idea I have seen on this website. It brought tears to my eyes.

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August 25, 20080 found this helpful

Great idea and a wonderful gesture!

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August 25, 20080 found this helpful

What a wonderful idea! Good for everyone involved: Party guests don't have to agonize and spend money on a gift for a human; the shelter gets much-needed donations; and your husband doesn't get stuck with a bunch of stuff he doesn't need!

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August 25, 20080 found this helpful

This is absolutely the best birthday present (or any other present for that matter) request and that request being fulfilled story I've ever heard!

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August 25, 20080 found this helpful

On behalf of all of us who care for unwanted animals, Thank you.

I used to work at an Animal Shelter (now I just volunteer) and I remember children coming in with a similar story. They were so proud because they had asked friends to bring gifts for the animals instead of for themselves. Some of them came in with their parents; one group came in the day of the party with all the kids. They were so proud of what they had done and they got to see how their thoughtfulness affected everyone. They all then went on a small tour to see the animals that would benefit from their generosity. I think this is one of the highlights of my time at the shelter, of my life, in fact. And all those kids will remember that moment and be better off for it.

Spread the love and give to others in need; what better message is there to teach a child -- or adult, for that matter.

P.S. Another great way to help unwanted animals and the shelters that care for them is to spay/neuter your pet or pay for someone else's pet to be spayed/neutered. One cat and her offspring, if left to breed, can easily produce 2000 cats in three years. Think about it and spread the word. Just like Bob Barker, from The Price is Right says, "Spay and neuter your pets!"

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August 26, 20080 found this helpful

I am turning 50 this year and I want to do the same thing. I was not sure of the how to write the invites so thank-you for your words.

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August 26, 20080 found this helpful

I agree. This is the best idea I have ever seen on here, and I have seen many, many good ones! Thanks so much for posting that, and God bless you and your husband for doing that, and your guests that donated the items! I was so touched, I cried my eyes out! Seems not many people think of helping others these days, especially helpless little animals. They leave it to others to take care of everything, and that is why the needs of homeless and abandoned animals are not met nearly as much or as well as they should be. My hat is off to you two for being so caring to those who cannot help themselves. BRAVO!

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August 26, 20080 found this helpful

Great idea.

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September 2, 20080 found this helpful

Hi, KJ,

as everyone else has said, this is a wonderful generous idea. It could be extended to gifts for a women's shelter or any other charity that depends on donations of items (as well as money) to help its clients. And how about gifts for the troops serving in the War in Iraq? They need all sorts of inexpensive items, so a $15 'gift' would go a long way!

Thanks for the great idea!

Nancy in NC

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