Birthday girl donates gifts to animal shelter

Posted Monday, Aug. 19, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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For many kids, an eighth birthday party is a chance to rake in toys and other goodies.

But critter lover Campbell Parrish saw it as a way to help furry friends in need.

Instead of asking for birthday presents, Campbell, who will be a fourth-grader at Johnson Elementary School in Southlake, asked for donations for the Grapevine Animal Shelter.

“Cats and dogs are so sweet,” she said of her love of shelter animals. “They want a home.”

Joy Mayo, a shelter volunteer, said Campbell is not alone.

“In recent months, many young children have demonstrated their generosity and love for animals,” Mayo said. “The children asked their birthday party guests to bring supplies or ‘gifts’ for the animals of the Grapevine Animal Shelter.”

Mayo said it is a rewarding trend.

“The young children are very proud to give up their gifts in order to shower the cats and dogs with toys and treats,” the longtime volunteer said.

Gifts include cat and dog food and kitty litter.

“What a wonderful blessing for the birthday kids and their friends to want to share with the animals,” Mayo said.

Campbell first thought of the birthday bash idea when her family was adopting a kitten. Lily, the kitten, joined fellow adoptees at the Parrish home: Pumpkin the dog and Maddie the cat. The full house includes Campbell’s parents, Ann and Todd, and her sisters, Carson, 13, and Chandler, 5.

“She thought of the birthday idea entirely on her own,” Ann Parrish said. “I really thought that it was sweet. It hurts her heart for any animal to suffer.”

Parrish sent out email invitations and a half dozen girls came to a birthday party at their home with “a ton of stuff,” including pet food and treats.

Campbell, who wants to be a veterinarian, used her own money to buy specialty items, including collars, balls and squeaky toys.

“I thought of Lily and I wanted to help all of them,” she said of the shelter animals.

Campbell’s grandmother, Judith Leonard of Southlake, said she hopes her granddaughter’s story will give others the birthday donation bug.

“I hope it will spur other children to do the same,” the grandmother said. “Goodness is not something children automatically know. They have to be taught.”

Marty Sabota, 817-390-7367

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