February 9, 2014

Selfless Birthday. ~ Alicia Wozniak


I know I’m biased, but I have the best kid in the world.

My daughter Weez, that’s a nickname, turned 10 this year—her birthday is a month after Christmas. This past Christmas, she made out like she does every year. She’s the only child in my immediate family among me and my siblings so there’s no need to share the booty on Christmas morning; she cleans up. Her dad’s side of the family is generous with her as well—we’re divorced. Christmas for Weez lasts for weeks… Weeks.

Her birthday approaches faster every year.

This year, I asked if she’d be okay with family donating what they’d spend on presents to animal shelters of their choice—she has so much already. She thought about it for a few minutes and agreed, “Yeah, that’s cool. You’ll still buy me a present though, right?”

Well, sure, kid.

We collect donations for the local Humane Society a few times every year; she’s used to giving to the critters. Had she said she didn’t want to do this for her birthday, I wouldn’t have pushed, but she agreed and I am proud of her.

I sent an email to my family—mom, brother and sister—explaining what was happening before they went out and ponied up cash for a gift.

We celebrated Weez’s birthday at my mom’s and Weez was happy to hear about the donation stories. Admittedly, I was nervous after so many years of giving presents that she’d feel, I don’t know, left out by not opening anything, but there were cards—she seemed okay and happy. There was cake, after all.

That night came and went. She’s mentioned since then that she’s happy the family donated.

Today, a few weeks since her birthday, we picked up the mail. There was a letter addressed to her from the SPCA Suncoast; the ASPCA branch down here in our neck of the woods Florida.


Three people whom I don’t know donated “generously” on behalf of Weez for her 10th birthday. No one in my immediately family or Weez’s dad knows who these folks are—no one. Yes, I checked Facebook; I couldn’t find them there. Of course I Googled them too. No dice. They have to know us somehow though because the letter was mailed to our home address and specifically to my daughter; she and I have different last names.

I am as confused by this amazing mystery as I am overwhelmed with their generosity.

I am so grateful for my kid and her acceptance of this selfless act.  Also, whomever the people are who donated on her behalf so generously that the SPCA Suncoast sent her a personal letter, thank you.

I wish I knew who you are so I could thank you myself.

Remember the critters! They can’t help themselves.

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: author provided

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