One local girl is living up to the old saying that “it is better to give than to receive.”

Aedan Gillen donated over 500 pounds of pet food to the Beauregard Parish Sheriff's Department to be used to feed homeless dogs and cats at animal shelters in the area.

A student at First Baptist Christian Academy in DeRidder, Gillen will begin the fourth grade in the fall. She enjoys many sports including  golf, gymnastics, and soccer. She also loves to paint. While many of her classmates were celebrating the start of Summer vacation, she was gathering donations for needy animals.

Gillen and her mother came up with the idea to use her birthday as a platform to help animals. She has done this for the past two years.

As a self-proclaimed animal lover, Gillen has enjoyed helping the animals. “My favorite part is helping the animals,” she said. “I love feeding homeless dogs and cats.”

Gillen reached out to the surrounding community for both cash and food donations. Money gathered was used to by food for the animals. “This year we gave more food than we have before.”

The support from the community combined with her love of animals has inspired Gillen to continue making these donations for many birthdays to come. “I want to do this every year for my birthday,” she said.