Most children ask for presents on their birthday - a new doll, the most recently released video game, the next book in a series - but 8-almost-9-year-old Charlize Nolte doesn't want gifts. Instead she's asked all of her friends to bring a donation to the South Coast Humane Society to her birthday party on Friday.
"I was watching TV, and I saw somebody donated shoes to the people who don't have any," the Brookings resident said. "So then I thought, 'We have a Humane Society here and why not donate, because animals probably need money because they don't have a home yet.'
"I thought it would be nice cause I really like animals andhellip; I have a dog and a cat and a guinea pig so I thought to donate to them. I thought it would help the animals."
So Charlize and her mom, Britt Nolte, put a letter in her party invitations asking people to bring donations to the Humane Society in lieu of presents.
"I think it's amazing," Britt said. "I told her 'I think that's great.' I said, 'Well, you're not going to get presents.' She said 'I know. It's OK, mommy.'
"She's a very compassionate kid."
South Coast Humane Society Director Tanya Collins thinks so, too.
"I think it's wonderful," Collins said. "This is our third little kid that is actually donating to our shelter for their birthdays.
"I think it's just great that a child would have the idea at that age to think of something so good; to help out animals that are in need at the shelter. I'm shocked. It shows a big responsibility on their behalf."
Donations to the Humane Society are down, so Collins hopes this will help.
"I'm very excited about this, and I'm very excited to see what we get," she said. "See how the community is going to pull together for this knowing that it's all going to the shelter."
At her cat-and-dog-themed-party, people will be able to play games and decorate sugar cookies shaped like dogs and bones along with the usual party activities.
When asked what she's looking forward to the most Friday, Charlize responded, "That I get to donate, and that they let me donate."
Will she miss all the presents?
"Nope," she said without skipping a beat.
To make a donation to the Humane Society, people can drop cash or checks made out to South Coast Humane Society off at the shelter, 828 Railroad St., or mail a contribution to P.O. Box 7833, Brookings, OR 97415. The Humane Society is open from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.