Two Athens girls are getting nothing for their upcoming birthdays, and that’s the way they want it.
Hailey and Kirsten Clemons, who are turning age 6 and 7 respectively, decided to forego the traditional birthday party and gifts. Instead, they have asked friends, family and others in the community to come to their birthday party Saturday and bring presents for the nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter Peace, Love and Animals.
“It was their idea,” said the girls’ mother, Jessica Walker. “I asked them what they wanted to do, and they said they wanted to do something different. They love animals, so we brainstormed and came up with this.”
The girls mailed invitations, titled “It’s a Paw-ty,” asking friends and family to celebrate with them from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the Kids Dugout at the Sportsplex in Athens and to bring one of the following items for the shelter:
• Wet or dry dog food
• Flea prevention medicine
• Baby shampoo
• Paper towels
• Laundry soap
The girls, who attend Brookhill Elementary School, already know the value of animal shelters. Their tan, Dachshund-terrier mix named Bowzer came from one.
Jessica, who is studying social work at the University of North Alabama, thought the party was a good idea for several reasons.
“We wanted to celebrate their birthdays, and they love the Kids Dugout, so they will just be happy enough to play,” she said. “They have what they need, so why not give to those in need? I think it is important for children to learn the gift of giving, and maybe this will plant a seed? Maybe other children and parents will do the same?”