March 1, 2011
Child's Birthday Party Raises $1,600
Seven-year-old Shira Zeiberg requests donations for The HSUS instead of birthday presents
Shira Zeiberg’s seventh birthday party was all about the dogs.
The party started with Shira handing out hot pink dog tags, imprinted with the date and the words “I helped save the lives of animals." The 30 girls then watched a dog movie (Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2) and ate cupcakes decorated with puppy faces. Their goody bags, which said "Stop Puppy Mills," were filled with stuffed animals, stickers, and copies of KIND News—all dog-themed, of course.
Why the spotlight on canines? Shira, a first-grader from Westport, Conn., loves pets—so much, in fact, that she asked her guests to make a donation to The HSUS instead of buying her a present.
"I saw all these dogs in a commercial on TV," Shira explains. “They were in cages and looked really sad. They were all by themselves. That made me want to help them.”
Shira was also inspired by her older sister, Brianna, who held a similar party for her seventh birthday a few years ago. In the spirit of sisterly competition, Shira wanted to raise at least as much money as Brianna had—and she succeeded. Shira’s birthday donation totaled $1,609, edging out Brianna’s donation of nearly $1,400.
Charlene Zeiberg says her daughter was extremely excited about the party and didn’t miss getting gifts. “Shira didn’t need 30 more birthday presents,” she says. “This was a lot more meaningful. It’s something that can resonate with her for the long term.”
Zeiberg notes that not only did the kids have a terrific time, but their parents all loved the idea of a birthday celebration that gives back. She hopes other families might be motivated to turn their birthday parties into benefits, too.
Find humane-themed worksheets, lesson plans, and service-learning activities for K-6 students in our resources for Parents & Educators.