Victoria girl, 9, donates birthday presents to charity – victoria advocate – victoria, tx

Ella Burns, 9, donated her birthday presents to the court appointed special advocates (CASA) kids, which is national association in the United States that supports and promotes court-appointed advocates for abused or neglected children in order to provide children with a safe and healthy environment in permanent homes.

Ella Burns knew exactly what she wanted for her 9th birthday.


most children – and even adults – Ella asked for presents. Yet, unlike most people on their special day, the bright-eyed little girl chose to give those gifts away.

On Oct. 17, at an event hosted by Golden Crescent Court Appointed Special Advocates, Ella’s family won a bid on a children’s Halloween party being auctioned off by the nonprofit – which included a venue, games, food and decorations for 25 kids – and decided to turn it into a birthday party.

There was one twist, however.

“Ella said, ‘Hey, instead of taking all these gifts home, I want to donate them to the CASA kids,'” her father, Chris Burns, recalled.

To fulfill the third-grader’s one and only birthday wish, the party invitation called for friends and family to bring books or art supplies as presents, two types of donations CASA needed.

Her generosity was inspired by Ella’s 11-year-old sister, who did the same thing when she turned 9, except for Bluebonnet Youth Ranch, where she donated toiletries and undergarments for children in need.

“When Ella turned 9, she said, ‘I want to do it, too,'” her father said.

And that’s exactly what she did – only with an added element of surprise.

Ella waited until after opening all of her presents to call in the unsuspecting CASA board members and reveal her most treasured gift of all: the gift of giving back.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” said CASA board president Jewel Buchanan, repeating the words board member Lorene Bothe had told her when recapping the surprise.

Ella’s father said, although he tried to get her to first pick out a present or two she might want to keep, she nevertheless chose to give every one of her presents away.

Ella’s explanation for doing so was a simple one that came naturally to her.

“Most of those kids don’t have all the toys that other kids have,” she said.

For her, a little girl whose father said is “always smiling, always running around helping people,” it was easy to let go, knowing her gifts were going to an organization that serves more than 300 children in need.

Buchanan said the girl’s generosity was touching.

“For that age group to see past your own immediate birthday – your own gratification – and think of someone else is just amazing,” Buchanan said. “I’m just super impressed with her and her family.”