It was an unlikely idea for a child to latch on to, but hearing about a fundraising birthday is what prompted eight-year-old Langley resident Shayla Miller to use her birthday to raise money for her school.
Her mom, Sarah Bess Miller, a mortgage broker, explained, "She had heard of a kid on the island doing this type of fundraising birthday and wanted to do it as well."
Fundraising is a common theme in the Miller household, so Shayla was excited by the idea of taking on her own campaign. It even inspired her sister, Chessa to do the same for her early November birthday.
"I do a lot of fundraising, so my kids are exposed to a lot of it," said Miller. "It was [Shayla and Chessa's] choice of which charity to donate the money to."
After some discussion, Shayla settled on the Breakfast Club at her school, Nicomekl Elementary, as her charity.
"Some people don't have enough money to get breakfast on their own," Shayla said in an interview at her school.
The school's principal, Sharon Douglas, mentioned that the breakfast program is partly funded by the Sharon and Langley United Churches, which also provide serving staff.
When asked how the decision of donating the money to the Breakfast Club came about, Douglas said, "We talked around the idea of Terry Fox [run], but she [Shayla] wanted it to be something closer to home. Something in this building."
Sometimes Shayla has breakfast as part of the Breakfast Club.
"It's because the bagels are well cooked," she said as to why she likes it.
The program provides bagels, waffles, pancakes, fruit, juice, and more to ensure kids are well fueled for the day.
"I thought it would be nice for other people," Shayla noted when asked why the Breakfast Club was her choice.
Chessa chose LAPS because, "I like animals and I want them to have a good home," she said. "People shouldn't hurt animals.
Shayla's party guests didn't seem to mind the unique gift giving concept.
"Some said it was cool," she said. Her birthday was in early October and each of the 10 party guests brought $10. Five for Shayla and five for the fundraising. Chessa's birthday followed the same format.
But to the girls, they wanted to raise more money than what they got at their birthdays. Shayla canvassed the neighbourhood, then the family jumped in with their own fundraising activities to bring both donations to $460 for a combined total of $920 going to help others on behalf of two young girls.
"It was perfect timing for the donation," said Douglas of the day Shayla's cheque was presented.
Miller had giant cheques done for the girls to use and according to Douglas, one of the church ministers was on hand the morning Shayla presented hers.
"They have the [giant] cheque for now," Douglas said. "But we'll have it on display here soon."
Don't expect to hear Shayla bragging about what she's done mind you, Miller commented that the eight-year-old doesn't understand why anyone would make a fuss over what she's done.
"She said, 'Mom, why is everyone making such a big deal out of this?' because to her, it's just what you do. Our family always does fundraising," Miller said.