When Alexanna Morwood turned 8 years old she had a party, just like any other kid. Everyone sang Happy Birthday as she blew out the candles on her cake. It was just like any other party, except there were no gifts. "I had a donation to the Special Olympics instead of getting presents," said Alexanna.
Her friends each brought the money they would have spent on a birthday present, allowing Alexanna to donate it all, almost $500, to a good cause. There's no telling how many new dolls, games, or other toys that money could have purchased, but Alexanna says she doesn't mind, "I'm glad I did that, because I have enough stuff in my room right now."
The Special Olympics is glad she did too. "A positive sign of our future generation, you know, when you have someone so young who is already aware of others around her, aware of others who are in need, who is willing to give up, sacrifice something that, when I was her age, was a big deal," said Deminy Highley of Special Olympics.
This isn't the first time Alexanna has donated her birthday presents. She and her sister Mikayla have done this since they were 5 years old. "When our oldest daughter was four years old she had a party, and she always wants so many friends to come. They've always wanted a lot of friends to come to their parties, and she got so many gifts, and I said next year we could do something different, and that's when we started," said their mother, LeeAnn Morwood.
The two girls have donated to Toys for Tots, the Red Cross, and several other charities, but this year Special Olympics hit close to home because Alexanna's sister, Samantha, is in special education. "She was made different a little, and she's special like them," said Alexanna.
Alexanna knows the money she donated will help people like her sister, and for her that's better than a new toy. "They know they're gonna get gifts from their family members, and a few close friends will get them gifts, but they don't miss not getting all of those presents," said LeeAnn Morwood.
The Special Olympics says the money raised will buy awards for all their athletes to show friends and family what they've accomplished, which is an important part of their program.
|Fun & Games|