Instead of gifts, Salem boy asks for donations to local wildlife center for his birthday

Drive-by birthday parade held Sunday to collect donations for SWVA Wildlife Center

SALEM, Va. – Instead of receiving gifts, a soon-to-be 10-year-old is going to be the one giving out presents this year to a good cause.

Stephanie Manus and her nine-year-old Gabe of Salem rescued an injured cardinal that he named Toby. They safely scooped the bird up in a bucket and took it to the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center in Roanoke, where staff were able to help it fly again.

Now instead of gifts for himself, this year for his birthday he’s asking for donations to help other animals like Toby at the center. His mom is holding a drive-by parade on Sunday at 3 p.m. where donations will be taken.

Here’s the Facebook event for more details. Monetary donations can be made here in honor of Gabe.

“I’m doing so they will have a better life,” Gabe said. Manus said she is so proud of her son for being selfless, and wanting to give back to a good cause. She said he often volunteers for fundraisers for the center.

“For him, this is how he wanted to make a difference in helping Toby, and not only Toby, but all of the animals over there,” Manus said.

All are welcomed at the drive-by birthday parade in Salem. They’re asking you to purchase a gift from the SWVA wildlife center needs list.

Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke Wish List:


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