Cooper and Ryan Brown of Grayslake celebrated their birthdays and did something charitable at the same time.
Rather than accept gifts at their birthday parties in late April, 6-year-old Cooper and Ryan, 10, requested donations for the Save-A-Pet no-kill shelter near Grayslake. The boys raised $500 for the shelter.
Lillian Messner, a Save-A-Pet board director at large, said Ryan and Cooper brought the money to the facility and received a tour.
"They were in the main cat room most of the time," Messner said, "as they have adopted their cats from Save-A-Pet. I am so proud to have met these wonderful young men."
Greg Brown, the boys' father, said he and his wife were proud their children gave up birthday toys to help Save-A-Pet. Brown said some of the gifts would have been toys the boys already have or ones they wouldn't have liked or used.
"The previous birthday, we ended up with a lot of toys they never really played with," Brown said.
Cooper and Ryan are animal lovers. The Brown family adopted two cats from Save-A-Pet a couple of years ago.
"We like the care they provide the animals," Brown said.