Zander Houston’s family and friends were surprised when he said he couldn’t think of anything he wanted for his ninth birthday. As he and his mother Jessica Carter continued the conversation, she suggested that he might volunteer somewhere he could be around animals and make a birthday donation to the organization.

Zander had always loved dogs and other animals. When his little sister was born, she had such an allergy to pets that he was unable to have one. This love for animals led him to decide to ask for donations to the Humane Society of Sumner County for his birthday.

After the decision had been made, he and his mother sat down to compose a letter for her to post on Facebook. In the letter he asked for donations to the Humane Society because he loved animals and some needed food, water, and other things. He stated that he didn’t want anything for himself and that it would make him happy to see people give to the animals.

His mother made a video of him reading the letter and posted it on Facebook. The response was overwhelming. Soon people were bringing bags of dog food, cat food, kitty litter, and paper products to their house. He also received over $300 in cash donations, including $50 he donated from his Christmas money.

Available space in their garage began to fill up with all the donated items.

Aaron Hudanish, manager with the Humane Society of Sumner County said, “The generosity and kindness shown to us by Zander was absolutely amazing! We were blown away by the amount of donations made in honor of his birthday.

“Each of the items will be put to good use by the dogs and cats awaiting their new homes. Thank you, Zander, for sharing your birthday and your big heart with us at The Humane Society of Sumner County. We appreciate you.”

Carter said, “I am so proud of him. I know he can be shy, but I tugged at him to let me record his speech. Because he can be very shy, it was big for him to do it.”

Zander wants to thank everyone who donated to his birthday charity. He is very pleased that he was invited to come by the humane society to play with the cats and dogs, when he brought the donated items by.

This was not Zander’s first time to make a difference in his community. He helped his grandmother deliver meals to the police department during the Christmas holidays. According to his mother, he couldn’t wait to do good again.     

Zander’s father is Trenton Houston and his step-father is Jessie Carter. He has a sister Ashtyn Carter and a half-sister Jade Houston. Zander is a student at J. W. Wiseman Elementary School.


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