Phoenix girl hosts canned food drive for fifth birthday party

Posted at 7:44 PM, Jan 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-14 21:44:25-05

Some kids want dolls, puppies and video games for their birthdays, however, a selfless Phoenix girl is celebrating her big day in a special way.

From the decorations, to the grill full of hot dogs and burgers, to a lively bounce house full of laughter: 5-year-old Ava's birthday party seemed to be a success from the start. 

But, this party is one that everyone in the community can celebrate. 

On Saturday, Ava celebrated her fifth birthday with a canned food drive instead of presents. St. Vincent de Paul dropped off boxes for the donations to be collected in.

Her mother, Audrey Monell, said it's a learning lesson for Ava.

"We want to raise awareness for our daughter so she knows that there's people less fortunate than her out there," Monell explained.

Ava also understands that even the smallest gestures can go a long way for those in need.

"Other people, they don't have the money they need, they get canned food," Ava said.

This isn't the first time young Ava has turned her birthday into a charitable event. On her third birthday, she hosted a toy drive for Daisy Mountain Firefighters Charities Association. 

Not surprisingly, a few family members brought gifts on Saturday, but many people came armed with canned goods.

Ava explained that she's looking forward to filling those two boxes from St. Vincent de Paul, as well as blowing out her candles — hopefully saving a wish for herself.