Girl Gives Up Birthday Gifts for Rescue Dogs
Curtis Fundamental fifth-grader Maria Norman decided that in lieu of gifts, she would give back to Dunedin Doggie Rescue for her birthday. She was publicly recognized at an event Sunday.
Young Maria Norman asked for stuffed toys, rawhide bones and dental sticks for her 11th birthday.
The gifts weren't for herself, but for the rescued shelter dogs of Dunedin Doggie Rescue.
"One thing we've talked about," Maria's mother Kathy Norman said, "is kids have so much every birthday — maybe it's a good idea to think about giving back. I got her to thinking, and she was thinking of an organization to donate to instead of getting birthday presents."
For her selfless act of service, Dunedin Doggie Rescue publicly recognized Maria, a fifth-grader at Curtis Fundamental Elementary, when she dropped off the donations Dec. 2 at its last Suds on Sunday dog wash of the season. (The monthly dog wash fundraisers resume in March.)
"At first she was like, 'I don't think I can make a speech,' " Norman said. "But she was thrilled."
Maria, whose birthday is Nov. 16, is the second child who has thrown a fundraiser birthday for Dunedin Doggie Rescue, said Cathy Schultz, co-founder of the volunteer group.
Maria's family adopted Benny, a 3- to 4-year-old Shih Tzu and Yorkie mix, from Dunedin Doggie Rescue in early 2012.