VICKSBURG, Mich. -- Morgan Wood has always had a heart for animals. It's why he's decided to use his birthday the past three years to ask for donations to a Kalamazoo animal shelter instead of receiving gifts.
"I think I have enough toys so far," he explained to FOX 17 News. "Animals don't have enough toys and food and water and nice things, so I asked my friends on my birthday to come, and, instead of getting me presents, to donate."
Wood, a fifth grader at Indian Lakes Elementary School, turned 10 on September 30. He and his mother have planned a big party on Saturday, October 3, inviting his entire grade to attend.
He first got the idea to help the Animal Rescue Project a few years ago. Since his eighth birthday party, he's been collecting donations for them instead of gifts.
"[My friends] brought new collars and new dog toys and doggy bones and they brought some collars and leashes. They brought a whole lot of food," he said. "[The shelter] is super happy that we're giving them donations, because I don't think they've ever really had donations like that before. It was super, really good for the animals, because they love getting new gifts and stuff."
Wood is hoping this year's party will be the biggest one yet.
"You couldn't ask for a better kid," said his mother, Melissa Wood. "He's very empathetic, very mature."
Morgan's party is scheduled from noon-3 p.m. at the pavilion that hosts the Farmer's Market in Vicksburg, next to Brady Township Hall. The event is also open to the public.
Melissa Wood said representatives from the Animal Rescue Project will also be there with a few animals to host an adoption event at the same time.
Food will also be available to purchase, with all of the proceeds going to the shelter.