I was reading the fall issue of ASPCA Action the other day. It's the quarterly publication of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and it comes to me in the mail, but it can also be downloaded from the ASPCA site here. In fact, click here to download the fall issue as a pdf file.
It's a great little magazine with information for pet owners and lots of both heartbreaking and heartwarming stories about the plight and rescue of homeless or abused pets in America.
Anyway, I was reading this article on page 9 about a little boy named Ethan St. Amant who, after seeing an ASPCA television commercial about abused and abandoned animals in shelters decided to help in whatever way he could.
Well, Ethan's eighth birthday was coming up, so he asked that friends and family give to the ASPCA instead of buying him birthday gifts. The kid took a pass on Transformers, video games, baseball gloves, and Yu-Gi-Oh, so that shelter animals could have food, medicines, etc, and he wasn't even eight years old yet!
Ethan set up a birthday page over at ASPCA Ambassadors, and, as of the publication of the fall issue, Ethan had raised $555 for the ASPCA!
Here's what Ethan had to say about his choice to forego toys for his birthday:
"I just wanted to save the animals. I helped to save some dogs."
I have been thinking about Ethan a lot over the last couple days, particularly when I see one of the nearly identical TV commercials that Wal-Mart and Toys R Us are running now, in which kids are rattling off an insanely long wish list of toys they want for Christmas.
It's nice to know that there are kids out there like Ethan St. Amant, who recognize that life is more about giving than getting.
Good for you, Ethan. (And a big "well done" to Ethan's parents.)