9-year-old Phoenix girl turns down birthday gifts, gives to needy pets and people instead

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Hadley Gray just celebrated her 9th Birthday, but the Phoenix third grader didn't want any presents. (Source: Angella Gray) Hadley Gray just celebrated her 9th Birthday, but the Phoenix third grader didn't want any presents. (Source: Angella Gray)
Hadley decided instead to ask family and friends to donate whatever they could to the homeless and local pet shelters. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Hadley decided instead to ask family and friends to donate whatever they could to the homeless and local pet shelters. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Hadley's parents put together a birthday invitation with a list of items needed on the back. Some gave cash, so Hadley went shopping for crates, pet food, blankets, toys and shampoo. (Source: Angella Gray) Hadley's parents put together a birthday invitation with a list of items needed on the back. Some gave cash, so Hadley went shopping for crates, pet food, blankets, toys and shampoo. (Source: Angella Gray)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Hadley Gray just celebrated her ninth birthday, but the Phoenix third grader didn't get any presents. She didn't want any.

"I was planning my birthday party and I looked in my room to see anything I would need or want, and there was nothing I needed or wanted," said Hadley. 

Hadley decided instead to ask family and friends to donate whatever they could to the homeless and local pet shelters.

Her parents put together a birthday invitation with a list of items needed on the back. Some gave cash, so Hadley went shopping for crates, pet food, blankets, toys and shampoo.

"It made me happy, but I was really shocked," said Hadley's mother Angella Gray. "She had it all planned out. I came home and she already had a lot of everything she wanted to ask for -- donations for the homeless and pet shelters"

Many of those donations were delivered Friday morning to the Maricopa County Animal Shelter.

The generous 9-year-old got to meet some of the beneficiaries, including a new mom with a bunch of puppies to feed.

"A lot of times we don't think of our younger generation being so selfless," said Jose Miguel Santiago, with Maricopa County Animal Care and Control. "For us, we love the fact that they do something like this that is so beneficial for the shelter, especially now that we're getting into the warmer months. We need supplies more than ever."

Hadley's mom is hoping her daughter's story will inspire others to help people and pets in need.

"It makes me feel really proud of her," said Angella Gray. "She's 9 and already thinking of other people."

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Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

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