The best present you can give Linnea Flynn for her sixth birthday is a donation to help homeless pets.
Linnea, a kindergartner at Aspen Elementary School, is having a party inside the Limelight Hotel from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday. It’s not exactly open to the public — her mom, Ami, said there won’t be enough cake to serve people beyond Linnea’s invited guests.
But a table with booths will be set up so that anyone who wants to drop by can provide a donation to either the Aspen Animal Shelter or Lucky Day Animal Rescue. Contributions to the two nonprofit organizations also can be made online via the websites DogsAspen.com and LuckyDayRescue.org, respectively.
Ami said Linnea doesn’t want standard gifts.
“I feel so blessed that my daughter has such a big heart and loves animals,” Ami Flynn said Thursday. “She wants people to donate money to help homeless pets instead of giving her gifts on her birthday.”
Ami said her daughter has a “new golden rule” — treat animals the way you would want to be treated. Though the party is Saturday, her daughter’s actual birthday was Thursday.
Ami said the idea for raising funds to help animals was Linnea’s. In the United States, an estimated 3 million to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized at animal shelters each year, according to the Humane Society. The Aspen shelter is a no-kill facility.
“She thinks it’s so sad, and she wants to save them all,” Ami said. “She said she wants to raise awareness because animals can’t talk.”
Linnea already has raised $100, “and the party hasn’t even started yet,” Ami said.
Anyone who comes to the hotel can donate to the organization of their choice, she said.
Ami and Linnea visit animal shelters in the Roaring Fork Valley from time to time.
“We spend the day just brushing them and loving them, and we try to walk the dogs as much as possible,” Ami said.
The affection that Linnea has for animals was not ingrained by her mother, Ami said.
“She’s an animal lover from her heart,” Ami said. “She was born like that.”