WASHINGTON, N.C. (WNCT) — A six-year-old in Washington is doing more than most would do with their birthday presents. In fact, she didn’t keep any of her gifts. Instead, she used them to give back.
“She is just full of ideas and imagination. As it came closer to her birthday, we were looking around at how many toys she had. We just started talking about how she had so much, and others didn’t have many. We were trying to figure out how she could make a difference or what she could do,” said Sara Cutler, Hartley’s grandmother.
Hartley made a wish to put animals first, using all of her presents to help four-legged friends.
“I donated some animal food to this animal shelter. I have too many toys, so I decided to do this,” said Hartley.
It seemed like the perfect fit for Hartley to donate to the Beaufort County Animal Services in Washington.
“She has such a love for animals. She has for years ever since she could walk,” said Cutler.
Hartley donated all kinds of items to Beaufort County Animal Services. They even posted a photo of her act of kindness on their Facebook page.
“Absolutely proud. She is just a wonderful child. She thinks of others,” said her grandfather, Donnie Cutler.
Dog toys, cat toys, beds and food are what Hartley said was donated.
“It helps. There was a lot of dog food, so the dogs and cats got some toys to play with and some cleaning supplies. It was amazing. It really does help us a lot,” said Melanie Sawyer, chief officer of Beaufort County Animal Services.
Hartley said she wants to make helping animals her job one day. She wants to be a doctor or work in the animal shelter because “she loves animals.”
“I think the sky’s the limit for her. I think she’s on a path and she will accomplish whatever she sets out to do for sure,” said Sawyer.
Hartley already has the most important quality for the job, generosity.
“A lot of people have really been inspired by her. I think she didn’t even realize how much of an impact she would have,” said Cutler.
Hartley encourages adoption or helping out your local animal shelter. She said one day she will adopt an animal, too.
“Children learn by example. They learn by doing so as a parent or grandparent we just try every day to help shape her and foster all her ideas and dreams. To see her flourish and come up with ideas like this and now she already has more ideas about wanting to come and volunteer and read to the dogs and maybe do something for Christmas,” Cutler said.
“Yes, it’s very emotional to see her blossoming and even coming here, she wanted to encourage other people to donate or adopt from the shelter. It’s just a proud parent moment for her to do that.”