Guilford County girl using birthday to collect donations for animal shelter

BROWNS SUMMIT, N.C. -- Emma Carper turns 10-years-old on Monday.

“We normally invite friends over and have a really big party,” Emma said.

But this year, she's skipping the cake and ice cream, collecting pet supplies instead of birthday gifts.

The 9-year-old came up with the idea last month after she saw something at the Guilford County Animal Shelter.

“There was a sign out front that said 'donations needed,'” Emma said. “I was like, 'Someone needs to do something about that.’”

She made a video that her mom posted to Facebook, asking people for animal shelter donations instead of birthday gifts.

"Dry cat and dog pet food, dawn dish soap, and cat and dog toys," she said in the video.

“I kept trying to talk her out of it,” her mother Leah Carper said. “‘Are you sure you want to give up your entire birthday for this?'”

The video was posted on July 20 and has been viewed more than 4,000 times with more than 100 shares.

“We had no idea the video would be so well accepted,” Carper said.

So far, Emma has collected more than 1,500 pounds of pet food along with pet toys, soap and other supplies.

All Pets Considered on Battleground Avenue in Greensboro saw the video and set up a donation box to help out.

“I was only expecting like a trunk full of stuff,” Emma said.

Animal shelter staff say they've never gotten so much help from someone so young.

“I think she's an example to everyone no matter what age they are,” said Nancy Fauser, outreach and volunteer coordinator for Guilford County Animal Shelter.

It’s a sacrifice Emma says is a gift of its own.

“Makes me feel very, very awesome,” Emma said.

If you want to help, you can donate directly to the Guilford County Animal Shelter or drop off donations to All Pets Considered by Monday, Aug. 7.