Two boys turned 13 over the weekend — and decided to use their birthdays as an opportunity to celebrate the season of giving.
The Benzie Central Middle School boys asked their friends not to bring them presents, but to help others instead.
Thanks to two seventh graders, the Benzie County Animal Shelter has a lot more food to feed the animals.
“We didn’t really want them to bring presents for us, we just wanted them to give it to someone,” said Quinn Zickert.
This weekend, best friends Quinn Zickert and Nate Childers decided to turn their joint 13th birthday party into an opportunity to give.
“We love animals,” Childers said.
“Yeah, we both have animals, and we see the commercials on how sad they are,” Zickert said.
They asked their friends to bring donations for the local animal shelter instead of gifts.
“They brought stuff, and we’re happy they brought a lot of stuff too. Some brought cash and donations for them and cards. Some brought dog food and cat food and we’re all surprised by how much we got.”
Seeing the shelter’s reaction made the sacrifice worth it.
“This old woman came in and she gave us both a hug because she really liked what we did,” Childers said.
They ended up collecting a couple hundred pounds of food for the animals, and about 30 dollars in cash donations.
“Them being 13-years-old, it’s just that age in their life that they could have got a lot of video games, they could have done a lot of other things with that money. They could have asked their friends for a bunch of other stuff but they used it for the animals,” said Doreen Carter with the Animal Welfare League of Benzie County.
The boys say they may just make this an annual tradition.
“Just knowing that what we did was better than getting presents. It was giving what they need,” Zickert said.
If you’re interested in donating to the Animal Welfare League of Benzie County, for contact information.