Instead of getting birthday presents, one Chattanooga girl collected donations for one of her favorite organizations.         

"Because I love animals,” Matilda Sears said as she played with cats at the Humane Educational Society in Chattanooga.

"Kittens need homes,” Matilda said, “They can't just stay here forever.”

But before finding a home many pets come through these doors first, at HES in Chattanooga.

So, Matilda decided to do her part and help out.

"This is donation stuff, this is, this is,” she said going through the trunk of her mother’s car.

Matilda turned 7 on August 14th. At her birthday party she asked her friends not to buy her birthday presents, but to bring donation for HES instead.

"It makes me happy I’m donating this stuff," Matilda said.

Dog food, cat food, treats, toys, and a cat condo were among the many donations Matilda dropped off.  

“I gave them a lot of food, and toys to play with, and kitty litter," Matilda said.

HES has been helping take in pets evacuated from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Just last week, the shelter brought in nearly 50 new animals. Shelter employees and volunteers said the donations are very helpful, especially now.

“It’s just overwhelming with joy, to see somebody her age wanting to help so much," said Bob Citrullo, HES executive director.       

As for Matilda, she was just happy to help.

“Because he's so cute!" she said about the kittens.

In an effort to help find homes for the pets HES adoption fees have been sponsored until October, this means you can adopt a pet without paying the fee.