(Excerpts from the story shared by Dawn Nelson, Stevie Nelson’s mom)
Video games, DVDs, bikes, toy cars, anything related to superheroes…this is what a typical birthday list looks like for most little boys turning six years old. However, Stevie Nelson of Tilden, NE, had a different kind of list this year. For his sixth birthday, he asked for dog food, cat food, animal treats, various chew toys and money, $6,000 to be exact, a thousand dollars for each of the Stevie’s years so far. All to benefit the Northeast Nebraska Humane Society.
His dream gift is a safe shelter for Northeast Nebraska’s unwanted dogs and cats who are still looking for their forever homes. Animals have always had a special place in Stevie’s heart. Stevie’s compassion for animals reached an entirely new level last year after his two charcoal Labrador Retrievers, Bo and Luke, went missing from their family home just two days before his fifth birthday. Stevie’s only birthday wish last year was to have his two best friends returned to him—a wish that was unfortunately never granted.
Instead of having a traditional sixth birthday party, Stevie requested that his birthday party guests not bring him any gifts, but rather bring gifts that would help the thousands of unwanted pets in Northeast Nebraska, including dog/cat food, vitamins, toys, collars, leashes and treats. He stated that he wanted to “fill trucks full of donations.” Word spread across the country and soon people nationwide started making monetary and product donations. To date, Stevie has raised $25, 778.19 in monetary donations and an estimated $5,000 in product donations.
According to Stevie’s mom, “He has made something so positive come out of our family’s tragedy. This is an excellent example of ‘Paying it forward.’ What is equally amazing is when Stevie’s friends in Tilden heard his story, they wanted to help him raise money so much that they split the contents of their piggy banks with him. That was incredibly touching to me.”
Stevie shared, “I am just happy to get to help more animals feel loved.” His mom added, “I have never measured the success of this fundraiser by a dollar amount. This has been a valuable experience. We are so pleased that at age of 6 , Stevie was able to look beyond himself and see a bigger picture and a desire to help others. I think we can all learn from that.”
For more information, or to make donations visit Stevie Nelson’s 6th Birthday Wish.
© YesKidzCan!, 2011