Saturday, February 11, 2012

My Boy Is Just That Awesome

I have to say, I have some great kids. I am really one very fortunate Mother. I have 4 son's and we are pretty sure another little testosterone ball on the way. These boys aren't perfect by any means, really who on earth is? Not me, that's for certain! How did I luck out like this though?

Our oldest Michael just turned 12 and he came up with the best ever "theme" for his party.

Seeing as Michael's birthday is in January that is when everyone makes those pesky new years resolutions. Blah. Lose that last 5lbs (er 40), Save money and so on.
My girl friend Amber decided for her resolution to "make a difference" weather it was in the world or in her local community. I was really surprised by this, she became a topic of discussion in our home as to how SHE was making a difference and how we could implement that in our home. She was doing things like a drive for and donating to her local animal shelter and so on. When Michael's birthday theme came up he said "I want to do that, I could do that too!" he decided that he would ask his guests, that instead of bringing him a traditional gifts, to bring him some sort of a donation for the shelter as well.

Ya, that's right, he decided to give up gifts completely for dogs! Gahhhhh, it makes me tear up even now. Not only were his guests surprised at this, Amber was surprised as well. Some how things snowballed a little and when we went to donate at the local shelter there was a news crew and two newspapers, and three officers from animal control! WHOA! I knew in advance that the local writer for the Fort Polk Guardian would be there since she had called me in advance, having read about Michael's birthday party on my Facebook page. Michael handled it all so very well.
Here is where Michael and Cody both held up a giant 40lbs logging chain that was wrapped around a rather small dog that animal control picked up. He was so sweet, but still so painfully thin. It was all Michael and Cody could talk about for days. How sad they were that other people could mistreat an animal like that.

Here is the video of Michael on the news!

Here I have copied and pasted the article from the Guardian!
There was a small typo saying that it was Matthew Howard but it was actually Michael.

Fort Polk boy makes dogs' day, gives back to man's best friend
February 7, 2012

By Sarah Peachey, Fort Polk Guardian staff writer

Related Links
Fort Polk Guardian web site
FORT^POLK, La. -- He received eight bags of dog food, eight bags of treats and more than 15 toys for his birthday. It may sound like the perfect gift for a dog, but it was for a 12-year-old Fort Polk boy.

Matthew Howard, son of Matt and Rachael Morris and a student at Pickering Elementary School, chose to forgo traditional gifts in favor of donations to the City of DeRidder Animal Control during his birthday party Jan. 21. His mother's friend, Amber LeRoy, was his inspiration.

"My mom told me about her friend Amber's New Year's resolution of helping the world. I decided if she can do it, I could too, so I chose to give back to dogs. I saved all my birthday money to buy extra food and toys," Howard said.

LeRoy chose to make a difference in her resolution and started bringing some items to the animal control facility. "If this idea could spread, it would be awesome," she said.

When Howard arrived at the animal control facility, he grabbed the two largest bags and carried them to the kennels. Almost immediately he wanted to go inside and see the dogs. He picked up a bag of treats and walked into the building that housed the dogs with a smile on his face, stopping to give a treat to each animal he passed. While some of the dogs were timid, others accepted the treats, toys and pats with tails wagging.

"It's sad to see what has happened to some of the dogs, but it feels good to help. Some of the dogs really love what I got them. One of the dogs took the toy as soon as I handed to him," Howard said.

Howard said he's had a love for animals since he was little. "Dogs are just amazing animals. If I could take a dog from here, I would take all of them," he said.

Anne Champney, an animal control officer in charge of the kennel, said she was moved by Howard's decision to collect donations. "It's an amazing thing and he got a huge response. We cannot solicit donations, so he did this all on his own. His mom called and asked about assisting. We told her to think of a bored dog and what they would want to do," Champney said.

Howard said he enjoyed petting the dogs, giving them treats and handing them toys and he spent a lot of time doing all three.

"He's been an animal lover since he was small and watched Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel over any other show," said Rachael Morris, Howard's mother. "He heard about Amber (LeRoy)'s resolution and got excited to do something. He asked, 'Can I get donations for my birthday?'"

Howard didn't have to forgo all birthday gifts, Morris said. A Family friend brought Howard a football.
"I was so proud of him. I kept asking, 'Are you sure you don't want any gifts? You're sure you only want donations?' It was something he felt he had to do. Now my other son wants to do something similar for his birthday," Morris said.

Howard's brother, Cody, 10, has a birthday in June and also plans to seek donations, but for a different cause. "He inspired me to do the same thing. I'm going to work with so kids can get purified water," Cody said. "My brother did a cool thing and I'm proud of him. He wasn't greedy and decided to give back. I've never seen kids do that. People say kids can't do anything, but we can."

I would have just linked it but I wanted to make sure that it was included when we print out next blog book!

This in turn inspired Amber to start a new Facebook page called "Birthdays for a cause" it is AWESOME! It's a place where people can go to get ideas for possible birthday parties asking for some sort of donation, and a place to share those parties once they have happened! Thanks Amber for starting all of this! Thanks Sarah for the article and thanks to all our friends and family who took the time to donate! Thanks Anne at Animal Control for being so open to letting us come and love on the dogs when we donated! It made the kids afternoon. Frankly, were we not moving to Germany this spring we would have let Michael adopt one of those sweet pups. We just can't afford to fly a 2nd dog right now. Boo! At least if he couldn't take them home he was making thier lives just a little better!

In the end Michael got over $200.00 in gift cards or cash, with which he then went to Petsmart and Walmart and spent it on dog food and toys. He got quiet a bit of stuff! I just have to say again and again how very proud of him we are! What amazing boys we have!!!

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