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No birthday gifts please

Josh Stone, 9, is donating dog and cat food to Kitsap Humane Society for his birthday. He told friends and family to bring the animal food to donate rather than buy him gifts. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Josh Stone, 9, is donating dog and cat food to Kitsap Humane Society for his birthday. He told friends and family to bring the animal food to donate rather than buy him gifts.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

By RACHEL BRANT

Staff writer

Birthday parties are all about cake, presents and spending time with family and friends.

At Josh Stone’s party today at Olympic Gymnastic Center in Silverdale, however, guests will bring unusual “gifts” for the birthday boy: bags of dog and cat food.

The Esquire Hills Elementary School student told his party guests to bring dog and cat food to his birthday party because the soon-to-be 9-year-old wants to donate the items to the Kitsap Humane Society in Silverdale.

“I just wanted to help the humane society because I wanted to help the animals,” Josh said.

The Stone family got the idea from Josh’s Cub Scout group, Pack 4540. For his ninth birthday, den leader Valerie Kindschy’s son, William, asked his guests to bring money to donate to the Quintuplets Foundation set up to help support the Stevenson quintuplets and their family build a home in Keyport.

“They’re the ones that started this idea and hopefully other boys and girls get the idea and will do something similar,” said Bryan Stone, Josh’s dad.

The Kindschy family showed the importance of giving back to the community and Josh, an animal lover, decided he wanted to help the animals at the Kitsap Humane Society.

“We’re extremely proud of him. When the idea first came up with giving a donation to the humane society he was all for it,” Bryan said. “He’s really thinking this is a great idea and we couldn’t be happier.”

Don McBurney, executive director of the Kitsap Humane Society, thinks “it’s absolutely wonderful” that Josh and his friends are donating dog and cat food to the animal shelter.

“It provides a means for children to contribute directly to the welfare of animals and it’s just outstanding ... it’s just an exciting thing to do,” McBurney said. “They may not be able to build sheds or donate millions of dollars, but they can donate what matters to them.”

Josh said he decided on dog and cat food because it is a basic necessity for the animals.

“Really they need food and water to survive,” Josh said. “They just really need to have water and food.”

Josh has wanted a dog for most of his short life thus far, but his parents said he cannot have one until he is 10 years old and “can prove he is responsible enough to take care of a dog.”

Josh has been doing chores working hard to save money, $200 to be exact, to care for a dog. Josh said he wants a beagle or a puggle, a pug/beagle mix, and Bryan said next year is the year his son will get his wish.

“I want to get a beagle that stays inside all the time,” Josh said with a smile.

Josh will drop off the donated dog and cat food to the humane society after his party today and said he feels really good about doing it.

“It shows their dedication to the animals,” McBurney said. “We love children giving to the animals. “They’re making a significant contribution that’s important to them.”

Josh said he hopes to donate more items to the Kitsap Humane Society and wants to volunteer there in the future. Bryan and Josh hope more children will forego birthday presents and ask for donations to help local groups at their next birthday parties.

“It’s a good idea because you don’t need toys,” Josh said. “It’s not all about gifts.”

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