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ONALASKA, Wis. (AP) — An 11-year-old western Wisconsin girl has established a tradition of asking people to donate to designated causes instead of giving her presents on her birthday.

The most recent beneficiary of Olivia Konrardy-Buchal’s birthday wish was the La Crosse Collaborative to End Homelessness, the La Crosse Tribune reported .

“If people need help, I always feel like I should try to help,” Olivia said.

Olivia’s birthday is Dec. 30 and she began the donation tradition four years ago. The Onalaska girl raised $100 for the collaborative for her 11th birthday, topping the $90 she raised for orphans in another country the previous year.

“I think everybody should be treated equally,” Olivia said.

Officials were so impressed with Olivia’s initiative that they’ve named her an unofficial member, said Julie McDermid, the collaborative’s project manager. Olivia has been tasked with designing thank you cards to give to donors, McDermid said.

The colorful cards feature messages such as “Thank you for your generous acts” and “Thank you for leading the way.”

The collaborative was first formed last year. The organization sets 100-day targets or sprints. The group has successfully housed almost 100 people through three sprints.

The collaborate works with volunteers from social and human service agencies, city and county officials and committees, law enforcement, veterans and vets organizations, faith communities and businesses.


Information from: La Crosse Tribune,