By Mike Fletcher
Tribune staff writer
Instead of unwrapping presents on her 10th birthday, Taylor Caldwell arrived at the Kokomo Humane Society at noon Saturday bearing gifts for all the dogs and cats at the shelter.
Taylor along with her parents and her friend, Emma Larche, delivered bags full of blankets, towels, dog and cat toys, homemade dog biscuits and other gifts for the animals.
At her birthday party Friday, Taylor asked that instead of getting her presents she wanted everyone to donate to the Humane Society.
“My friend, Emma, donated some stuff to the Humane Society and I thought it would be cool if I did the same thing,” Taylor said, carrying a large bag of blankets for the animals.
“I thought it was a good idea,” Taylor’s mother, Theresa, said of her daughter’s generosity.
“I suggested she donate to a food pantry, but she said she wanted to help the animals,” said Theresa. “It took a lot of convincing to give up her presents. She’s a good kid.”
The Caldwells, who live in Hamilton County, decided to donate to the Kokomo Humane Society after realizing the shelter was in need of blankets and old towels.
“Our Humane Society in Hamilton County is doing fine and we heard they needed blankets so we decided to come here,” Theresa said.
Theresa said when Taylor’s friends and other family members learned of her idea, they all donated something.
“Everybody was excited to help out,” she said.
The staff at the Humane Society was thrilled by the donations and in turn presented Taylor with a birthday present — two stuffed animals — and some cupcakes.
Taylor, Emma and her parents also were treated to a tour of the facility and a chance to pet several of the dogs and cats at the shelter.
“I think it’s cool,” said Karen Peelle, who works at the shelter. “I just think that’s great what she’s doing.”
Peele said kids often donate items to the Humane Society, but to have a child give up her presents on her birthday is special.
“These kids have all these other outlets to give and for them to come up here — I’m very excited.”