Hudson -- Most teens see their 16th birthday as a time to ask mom and dad for a car, nice watch or some other expensive luxury.
Not Chelsea Zockoll.
Chelsea, a ninth-grader at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy asked one thing for her birthday -- donations for PAWSibilities, Humane Society of Greater Akron.
Chelsea included a note in her invitations asking friends attending her March 2 party to bring donations of toys, treats, food and money.
"I didn't really want anything so I said 'why not give it to animals who really need it more than I did,'" Chelsea said. "We had a box and it was overflowing with tons of stuff."
About 100 friends from CVCA, Old Trail School and Hudson United Methodist Church attended the party.
"I really could not have done this without all of my friends who came to my party," Chelsea said. "And they each brought a gift."
Gifts included dog and cat food, treats, leashes, beds for cats and toys, Chelsea said. Chelsea also collected $1,200 in donations for the society. The money will go towards a variety needs for the animals, Chelsea said.
"I didn't really do this for me," Chelsea said. " I did it for the animals so they could have stuff rather than me."
Before making her decision, Chelsea discussed the idea with her dad, Jim, and mom, Janice, who thought it "was a great idea," according to Janice.
"We are proud of her," Janice said. " She has always been a very time-giving girl."
Chelsea, who has not been able to volunteer at PAWSibilities due to her age, became familiar with the organization because a family friend, Jan Dalton is a volunteer.
However, Chelsea's non-volunteer status will change before summer.
After a May orientation, Chelsea will be begin volunteering.
"I'll probably be working in the cat room, because I really like cats," Chelsea said.
Chelsea said she loves all animals, but her favorites are cats and horses. Her horse, Bailey, and cat, Elvis, are her two favorite pets, she said.
Chelsea also volunteers her Saturdays at Victory Gallop, in Bath. Victory Gallop is a non-profit organization that provides both therapeutic and recreational horseback riding for children with behavioral and or emotional challenges and life-threatening illnesses.
"I help teach them how to ride and pack up horses and stuff," Chelsea said. "It's really nice, I like it, seeing the smiles on their faces when they ride."
Chelsea began working with the group for school, but decided she wants to continue working with the children when riding begins again in the spring.
In terms of colleges, Chelsea has not made any plans, but hopes to be a teacher for deaf students or a missionary, she said.
Chelsea returned from a missionary trip to the Dominican Republic in January, through her school.
"We were there for a little over a week," Chelsea said.
The group was helping build classrooms for a local school.
"We worked from 9 a.m. to noon every day," Chelsea said. "So we would dig trenches, move tile, cement and do the rebar for the sidewalks."
After a lunch break, the group worked from 1 to 4 p.m.
Volunteering is special to Chelsea because of the smiles on the faces of the children helped, she said.
"I feel like that's what keeps you going," Chelsea said. "In the DR [Dominican Republic] the kids have so little, but yet they were so happy and loved to be played with."
Laura Shank, the director of development for PAWSibilities called Chelsea "a remarkable young woman."
"Each year PAWSibilities, Humane Society of Greater Akron is fortunate to benefit from caring individuals, corporations and businesses that donate and host fundraisers in our honor," Shank said. "Young people like Chelsea Zockoll are truly inspiring to all of us."
Chelsea's "selflessness and kindness will greatly assist the abused, abandoned and neglected animals in our care awaiting their forever homes," Shank said.
"On behalf of our staff, volunteers, and most importantly- the animals we serve, thank you Chelsea for your generosity and thoughtfulness -- you are a remarkable young woman," Shank added.
For information on volunteering visit www.summithumane.org/Volunteers.