One local girl is giving back on her birthday - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

One local girl is giving back on her birthday

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Birthday girl, Riley Harris Birthday girl, Riley Harris

When you attend a birthday party, you probably expect to see mountains of presents.

But one young girl is asking for something different for her birthday and it's all to help *others* in need.

Birthday girl, Riley Harris says at previous parties, she went home with loads of gifts that she didn't need.

So she decided to give back. "Instead of the presents, I'm asking for donations for the Bethlehem Center," said Harris.

It's become a trend across the country for kids to give up their gifts to help out someone else.

Riley's mom, Laura says the kids really get into it. "They really get excited and like to see how much they raised."

This isn't their first rodeo though. Riley began this tradition two years ago and every year picks a different cause to support. This year, she chose the Bethlehem Center in Chattanooga.

"They have a really big focus on literacy and I feel like it's really important and it sticks with you your whole life," said Harris.

Ted Bullock, Executive Director for the center says they're delighted to accept the money. He says the center, which focuses on after-school, education programs, works mostly off donations. He says every bit helps.

"It doesn't matter what amount we make off of this, what matters is it goes to help the children in this community," said Bullock.

He says the monetary gift isn't all she's giving to his students.

"That sets an example not only for her and others her age, but for these children that are here at the Beth," said Bullock.

So you could say Riley is getting a gift this year, the best gift of all, the gift of giving.

"It's a really, really good feeling. That's another reason I've done it over and over again.

Bullock with the Bethlehem Center says all of the money will go to the literacy program for the students.

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