Kolton Corby smiles with a bus full of donations for Hope Animal Rescues.ALTON/GODFREY - Kolton Corby is a few days shy of turning 12, and instead of birthday presents, he wants to help animals in need.

Corby and his family invited community members to help them fill a bus with donations on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2023, at Farm and Home in Alton. All donations went to Hope Animal Rescues, a no-kill dog shelter in Godfrey that pulls dogs from animal control facilities before they are euthanized. Corby explained that dogs are his favorite animal, which is why he chose to donate to Hope Animal Rescues.

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“There’s just a lot of dogs in need, and they pick up a lot of dogs too,” he added.

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This is Corby’s fourth year of collecting donations instead of birthday presents. He started on his 8th birthday because he was concerned about “just being nice to animals and people.” Corby himself has five dogs, two goats, two cats “and a whole bunch of chickens,” so he knows firsthand how important it is to be kind and take care of animals in need.

Not a lot of people would choose to ask for donations instead of birthday presents, but Corby cares more about helping others than receiving gifts. He’ll likely continue to host his annual fill-the-bus event to donate to Hope Animal Rescues, and he encourages others to think about how they can help community members and animals going forward.

“There’s other stuff [to keep] in mind, including other people and other animals,” Corby said.

To donate to Hope Animal Rescues, visit their official website at HopeRescues.org. You can also Venmo @Barbara-Corby to contribute to Corby’s fundraiser.

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