SHERIDAN — Brendon Roszell considers himself lucky.
On Thanksgiving, the Central Montcalm Middle School student sat down with his father, Allen, grandmother, Annette, and other family members and — like a lot of Americans — enjoyed a belt-busting meal and the company of those he loves.
But before he did that, Brendon did his part to make sure the canine residents of the Montcalm County Animal Shelter also had a good holiday. He performed this feat by foregoing gifts for his 12th birthday party last week. Instead of presents, Brendon asked for gifts of dog food, which he donated to the Stanton shelter.
“Earlier this summer he started talking about doing this for his birthday,” Annette Roszell said. “He wanted to do something for the dogs at the animal shelter and I said sure, I don’t mind, but I figured he’d forget about it by the time his birthday came around.”
Brendon didn’t forget. Weeks before his birthday, he started letting friends and family know of his plans. By the time his birthday was over, he had collected over 400 pounds of dog and cat food, which he dropped off at the shelter.
“I just wanted the animals to have a good Thanksgiving, like I always have,” Brendon said.
According to Brendon’s father, the dog food donation is just the latest in a long string of service-type projects for his son.
“Brendon came up with this idea a while ago,” Allen Roszell said. “It was all his idea. But when his school is doing UNICEF, he’ll always go in his bedroom and grab his piggy bank and add his own money to whatever he’s collected. He says they need it more than he does.”
As if that’s not enough, Brendon spends time every weekend helping care for his great-grandmother, a cancer patient who needs constant care.
For Brendon, it’s no big deal, just something he does because it needs doing. And because he feels he has a lot to be thankful for and wants to share his good fortune with others.