Niko’s 12th Birthday Wish

Categories: Fundraising

As my twelfth birthday approached in 2009, my parents asked the usual question: “What do you want for your birthday?” I normally had a long list, but that year my answer was different – but no surprise to my parents. I wanted to help Napa Humane.

Growing up, I was always around animals. We always had at least two cats and a dog; and our neighbors had those and more. We loved our animals as family members, but we could only have so many. I wanted to find some way to support those that didn’t have the same privileges as our family’s pets. That’s when I looked into the humane society and researched how they help animals. I’m very lucky to have parents that have always made sure I have what I need, and I earned money here and there. So on my twelfth birthday, instead of asking for stuff that I wanted but maybe didn’t need, I thought that I would share some of my earnings with Napa Humane. My parents were supportive and offered to match whatever I donated.

Since my twelfth birthday, I’ve tried to share with Napa Humane for my birthday and again at Christmas every year that I can. We continue to have at least two cats, but have grown to two or three dogs. We’ve had our cats: Six Gun and Hoss, Chester and Lucy, Toby and Roscoe.  Then our dogs: Maggie, Jazz, Hunter, Chibi, Duke, Brady, Tulla and Kia. We try to do rescues when we can and some of them have come to us when we weren’t looking for a dog, but they needed us.

I always wish I could do more, but supporting the humane society has become a tradition within my household, and it feels good knowing that I can help even a little bit to show my support for all the good work they do. Maybe someone else will start this tradition, too. It doesn’t take much effort or expense, but if more people did it, I think it would add up to something really significant.

~Niko Baila

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