It was her idea.
Julie decided seven years of birthday presents was enough. It was time to give back.
Instead of birthday presents at her 8th birthday party, friends brought donations to our local animal shelter Orphans of the Storm in Riverwoods. Before Chico, we had been thinking about adopting a puppy from the shelter, and those animals really touched our hearts. Of course, after Chico, we really can't adopt another puppy right now, but we would love to give to the no-kill shelter in some way. So, with the help of Julie's awesome friends we delivered cat food, dog food, dog toys and treats, a huge dog bed, and $70.
Julie of course didn't go present-less on her birthday. She had plenty of gifts from grandparents and aunts and uncles and a the pretty cool gift of the aquarium penguin encounter from her wonderful parents. But, we were so touched that our little girl decided to forgo potential presents from her friend. I'm sure she got the idea from another birthday party, but what a great form of peer pressure. We obviously didn't make a huge difference yesterday when we brought in our three bags of donations, but it was something.