Food for gifts

Birthday parties usually have cake, singing and gifts. But Katie Doebler, of Jersey Shore, recently celebrated her 11th birthday party without one of those elements.

About six months ago, Doebler, daughter of Yvonne Weigel and Rick Doebler, decided that instead of gifts, she wanted to help the many animals at the Lycoming County SPCA. On the bottom of each invitation she sent out for her recent birthday party, she asked that, instead of gifts, guests bring an item to be donated to the animal care and protection agency.

“I just started thinking one day and it popped into my head,” Doebler said, reflecting on her decision.

Weigel describes her daughter as always being an animal lover. Doebler has had numerous cats, dogs, fish, rabbits and hermit crabs as pets throughout her life.

Party guests were surprised by Doebler’s request for animal supplies instead of gifts. Doebler said most party-goers’ reactions were: “Wow, I can’t believe you’re doing this.”

So on Friday, Doebler’s birthday, her family helped as she hauled a truckload of cat and dog food and treats into the SPCA. Doebler wasn’t sure how much food she had to donate but estimated it at about 200 pounds.

Doebler needed a wagon to get all of the supplies into the building.

It felt “good to help the animals and supply them with food,” she said.