Rowlett resident, Madelyn Gigon celebrated her 13th birthday by delivering donations to the Rowlett Animal Shelter on Saturday.
Instead of hosting a party and receiving gifts on her birthday, Madelyn hosted a drive-by where her friends were able to drop off food, toys, treats and other items to the shelter for the animals.
“We lost our dog of 14 years on March 17,” Eric Gigon, Madelyn’s father said. “We went to the animal shelter a couple months ago where she found her new dog, Winston. She's an animal lover, and she saw how many animals were in there. She did a fundraiser once before for the animal shelter instead of presents and wanted to it again. She decided instead of having a party where everyone brings presents, we'd have a drive by and have people drop off donations for the shelter.”
While the drive by was held on Saturday, friends dropped more items off throughout the week.
“It was kind of funny because I get off work at 5 p.m.,” Eric said. “I know they close at five, so I told my daughter at 4:30, let's load everything in the truck and drop everything off.”
Eric and Madelyn arrived at the shelter 20 minutes before they closed.
“We said we got a donation and they said ok,” he said. “I told them it's a lot, so they walked out with me and said 'wow, you weren’t kidding. it's a lot' It was a good effort by my daughter and all of her friends.”
Eric said the shelter remembered them from when they adopted Winston two months ago.
“I actually waited out all night to get him because he is a hot commodity,” he said. “There are a lot of people interested in him. To make sure we got him, we camped out. It was kind of cool.”
Madelyn said she plans to raise donations for other causes in the future.
“She's not a materialistic person,” Eric said. “She doesn't ask for a lot. She's got everything she needs in her mind. If she can do something for other people who need it, then I think it's definitely going to be an annual thing.”
In addition to raising funds and giving donations, Madelyn also has a “birthday club” where she and her sister will make cards for residents on her street.
“Our street is quiet with a `lot of older people. She and her sister decided to make a birthday club. they went to every house to find out their name and birthday, and now she and my other daughter make cards and drop them off to whoever it is at their house to wish them a happy birthday to make sure they have something.”