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Penguin party . . . Briar Henwood (7) left, with her little sister Nikita (5) and a penguin at the Dunedin Wildlife hospital. Nikita's $300 donation will go towards helping injured animals. PHOTO: ELLA STOKES

Instead of getting presents for her birthday, one generous Dunedin girl has done something a bit different.

Nikita Henwood, who turned 5 last month, asked people who came to her birthday not to bring presents.

Instead, she asked them to bring money to give to the Dunedin Wildlife Hospital.

She thought this would be a good idea after her big sister, Briar, had a similar idea for her 7th birthday last year, when she donated money to Kiwis for Kiwis, because she “liked Kiwis and wanted to help them”.

The sisters attend George Street Normal School.

Nikita’s parents, Talia and Jason Henwood, matched the money that she had gathered to make the total sum of the donation $300.

Wildlife hospital trust co-chairman Steve Walker said they were very grateful for the donation.

“Without the help of the public we wouldn’t be able to do what we do, so it’s very encouraging that someone as young as Nikita has helped us”.

He also said it was good to know younger people were looking out for the environment.

“Education for the younger generation is so important especially if they’re passionate about it, because they’re future-proofing these special animals that they otherwise might not get to see when they grow up”.

Mr and Mrs Henwood said that they were very proud of both of their daughters.

“We’re very proud of them. We talked to them about it and said it meant they wouldn’t get presents but it didn’t bother them, as the presents were just things,” Mr Henwood said.

Mrs Henwood said ” to give something like this was very rewarding for them”.

She said you can be surprised by what your children can do and would encourage other people to do the same thing.