LOVELAND, Colo. — A girl used her 5th birthday to bring joy to pets at the Human Society in Loveland.
Jayden made the selfless decision to turn down gifts for herself. Instead, she asked family and friends for donations for animals in need of a forever home.
On Saturday, Jayden and her friends gathered at the Loveland facility to hand over the dozens of gifts from Jayden's birthday party, which she celebrated last month.
Jayden's mom, Debra, said the idea was born after a summer trip to the Larimer Humane Society in Loveland.
"As we were driving home, [Jayden] said, 'mom, we need to bring toys for all the animals,'" Debra recalled.
Debra said it suddenly dawned on her that Jayden could use her birthday to donate toys to pets at the Larimer Humane Society. Debra pitched her daughter the idea, and Jayden was sold.
Debra was hesitant and admitted she thought her daughter would change her mind, but that never happened. She coined her daughter's 5th birthday, "Philanthropy 5."
Jayden's friend Savannah was one of several that attended Saturday's event.
"Savannah was like, 'what! I get to bring toys for cats and dogs! That's perfect because when I grow up, I want to be an animal rescuer.' And she was jumping for joy," Savannah's mother Julie Kalvels said.
"She's a really caring [and a] giving kiddo, just by nature," Debra said.
Debra's idea is catching on.
"Savannah said, 'we should do that for my birthday, too,'" Kalvels said.
The Larimer Humane Society accepts monetary, in-kind and pet food donations.