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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:

  • Register Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke with your AmazonSmile account and the center will receive 0.5% of your purchases.
  • Pet food:
    • Science Diet dry kitten chow
    • Dry cat/kitten chow with under 31% protein
    • Wet canned cat food, any kind
    • Wet canned dog food, any kind
  • Seed and nuts:
    • Millet
    • Finch mix
    • Striped sunflower
    • Black-oil sunflower
    • Sunflower hearts
    • Cracked corn
    • Poultry starter and Go (no antibiotics)
    • Poultry Chow (no antibiotics)
    • Woodpecker mix
    • Wild bird seed No-melt suet cakes
    • Sunflower hearts
    • Field Corn
    • Pumpkin seeds, unsalted
    • Old-fashioned rolled oats
    • Cardinal seed mix
    • Dove Kaytee seed
    • Fruit and nut seed
    • Nyger thistle
    • Safflower
    • Peanuts, unsalted and unroasted (shelled and unshelled)
    • Variety of native nuts in shells (acorns, walnuts, hickory, pecan, etc)
  • Produce
    • Kale
    • Collard greens
    • Dandelions
    • Spaghetti squash
    • Grapes (red)
    • Blueberries
    • Blackberries
    • Raspberries
    • Cherry tomatoes
    • Carrots
    • Apples
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Wild greens not sprayed with herbicides/fertilizers/chemicals (clover, plantain, dandelion, etc)
    • We also sometimes need frozen fruit/vegetables--call us to see if our freezers have room first
  • Protein and insects:
    • Live earthworms, mealworms, waxworms, fly larvae, crickets, and grubs
    • Live or frozen bee larvae
    • Frozen Smelt (Walmart)
    • Frozen Silverside fish -Petco
    • Frozen Krill/shrimp -Petco
    • Frozen Bloodworms -Petco
    • Frozen Brine Shrimp- Petco
    • Frozen Tubifex worms
    • Frozen Mosquito larvae
    • Fluker high calcium cricket feed
    • Fluker’s orange cricket cubes
    • Deer antlers, cleaned but not bleached
    • Whole fish of any kind
  • We also take donated excess hunting meat from hunters (but we CANNOT take ANY meat shot with lead bullets--it is highly toxic to wildlife, even if bullet is removed) at certain times of the year for eagles/foxes/etc, please call us first if you have these items.
  • General care supplies:
    • Heating pads without automatic shut-off
    • Cotton balls
    • Cotton swabs
    • Eco-earth reptile dirt substrate
    • Aquariums and lids (10 gallon, but we sometimes need/take large ones)
    • Cleaning Supplies
    • Nitrile gloves (various sizes)
    • Dishwashing gloves (various sizes)
    • White paper towels
    • White tissues (no aloe)
    • Toilet paper
    • High-Efficiency laundry detergent (no pods)
    • Blue Dawn dish liquid
    • Trash bags (39-gallon and 55-gallon)
    • Sponges
    • Scrub brushes
    • Zip-lock plastic storage bags (quart and gallon size)
    • Disinfecting wipes (any kind)
  • Office Supplies:
    • White printer paper
    • Pink printer paper
    • Dry erase board markers, small tip Black Sharpie markers
    • Blue painter’s tape
    • Duct tape
    • Postage stamps (Forever)
    • Post-it notes
  • Gift cards:
    • Kroger
    • Walmart
    • Petsmart or Petco
    • Lowes
    • Staples
    • Large items (call before donating these items to make sure we currently have space)
    • Reptarium cages
    • Large freezers
    • Large bird/mammal cages (please email us pictures to determine if cages are appropriate for us/we have storage room for them)
    • Large outdoor storage sheds

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