GAMBIER — Birthdays are going to the dogs. That is, Wiggin Street fifth-graders Aubrey Clippinger and Max Wolfe asked that guests coming to their combined birthday party bring gifts for the canines at the Knox County Animal Shelter rather than gifts for the birthday girl and boy.
Aubrey explained, “Since we get a lot of presents ourselves, generally, we thought it would be nice to donate to some kind of shelter or community [charity].”
“My mom [Wendy] and I volunteer at the dog shelter,” added Max, “so we liked the idea of presents for the dogs.”
Aubrey said her friends thought the idea of presents for the dogs was “awesome,” and the guests contributed eight boxes of items for the dog shelter. Toys, treats, towels, blankets, peanut butter, leashes and collars were among the goodies.
“Some people did bring in some cat toys and cat treats,” Max said, “so we took them down to the cat shelter.”
Both Max and Aubrey would encourage other youngsters to follow their example.
“It’s not about yourself,” Aubrey said, “it’s what’s around you.”
Max said, “I definitely thought it was a good idea and I might do it again next year. I really liked it and I felt good doing it.”
Wendy Wolfe said no adult or child complained about the dog gift idea. “I think everyone thought, ‘Why not?’ and ‘Why don’t we do stuff like this more often?’” she said. “We are lucky to have a great community and people in it who are very fortunate.”
Aubrey’s mother, Angie Clippinger, said there was another, more intangible benefit from the dog gift idea — it raised awareness about the dog shelter among the 50 guests and their families, who reside in Gambier, Centerburg and Mount Vernon. One girl, she said, actually adopted a dog from the shelter just last week.
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