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10-year-old asks for donations, not gifts

She doesn't know exactly why, but Alyssa Litvaitis is drawn to helping people.

I feel really happy and just feel so fortunate that I get to do these things all the time, said Litvaitis.

She's only 10, but the 4th-grader from Ballston Lake is constantly finding ways and reasons to give back.

First, she chopped off her long hair for Locks of Love when she was just 8 years old.

"My friend has alopecia and loses her hair and I'm going to be donating it again [to Pantene Beautiful Lengths] because I'm really sorry for my friend," said Litvaitis.

When school lets out in June, she'll say goodbye to 10 inches of hair and give it to an organization that makes wigs.

"I have to do it in the summer after I do my dance school because I have to be able to put my hair up in a bun," said Litvaitis.

In the meantime, she needed to find another way to satisfy the giving bug. So, when she threw herself a birthday party in the beginning of April, she asked all her friends to forgo presents for her and instead bring items to be donated to the Saratoga County Animal Shelter.

"I love animals and my mom brought up the animal shelter and I said ,'That's a great idea!' I just really love animals and I'm really fortunate that I have all the toys I have, so I don't need any more," said Litvaitis. "I got the animals toys and stuff."

Her friends were a little confused at first, she said, because they didn't understand why she was making the one day that was all about her, all about the animals. Soon, though, they got into the spirit.

"They said 'Wow, that's a really great idea' and one of the mothers said that her daughter wants to do it too for her birthday," said Litvaitis. "They brought dog food, really big bags, cat food, dog toys, cat toys, all the treats for them, $100 and soft towels."

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