NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - For many five year olds, turning six means celebrating with a birthday party, cake, and of course presents, but one local soon to be six-year-old said instead of presents this year she wants to give her gifts the Nacogdoches Animal Shelter.
"I said I want cat and dog food and cat and dog toys," said Haley Smith who turns six on Thursday. "I wanted to give these presents here, because every animal that's in here is special."
The five-year-old started visiting the animal shelter regularly this summer, but when her grandmother asked her what she wanted for her birthday she never expected to hear what Haley said.
"I asked her what she wanted and she just said, 'I don't want nothing, Yaya, I want dog food and cat food and toys.' I said why?," said Barbara Julian-Smith, Haley's grandmother.
It took everyone by surprise at first, until she explained she wanted to help the animals that didn't have a home.
"She said, 'So I can take them to the animal shelter because they don't have a family'," Julian-Smith said.
She continued to explain that she had everything she could ever want, being an only child and grandchild, but it's obvious her selflessness goes beyond just that.
"I wanted to give these presents here, because every animal that's in here are special" Haley said.
Spending her birthday helping those looking for their forever home is sending a message her grandmother hopes touches the lives of many, and makes them think about ways they can be giving back in their own way.
"I just hope people see that if you have enough- you should give to others," Julian-Smith said.
Haley is only turning only six, but the message she is sharing with the world is wise beyond her years.
"I mean how many six year olds would want to bring food to the animal shelter instead of birthday presents and toys," Julian-Smith said.
Although it may seem like a small message, it is making a huge difference and serving as a reminder for all that sometimes giving is far better than receiving.