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Norwood Family Starts Birthday Tradition Helping Local Rescue

Stav Silberberg with the family's dog, Athena.
Stav Silberberg with the family's dog, Athena. Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Orit Silberberg
Stav Silberberg holds up the envelope of donations with Shelter Manager Doria Menendez.
Stav Silberberg holds up the envelope of donations with Shelter Manager Doria Menendez. Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Orit Silberberg

NORWOOD, N.J. — The Silberberg family of Norwood was used to the routine of birthdays, but this year thought they'd try something new.

Instead of collecting presents, the family is taking donations for the Bergen County Protect and Rescue Foundation in Cliffside Park.

Orit Silberberg got the idea after seeing her son, Stav, rejoice over each newly opened present only to toss it aside for the next one.

"We’re very lucky to have that but it’s not really necessary," Silberberg said.

"Kids get 10 to 15 presents, open them all at once and only play with some."

She brought up the idea of donating money to an organization instead. Stav took some time to think it over but decided he wanted to collect donations for the animal shelter where the family got its dog.

"We’re very touched by what the shelters do. We watch a lot of movies and videos about rescues of dogs that are strays or abused," Silberberg said.

The family rescued their dog Athena in March 2015. Stav developed a sincere fondness for the family pet and wanted to help others animals.

On Stav's eighth birthday in September, the family asked friends to bring a donation for the Bergen County Protect and Rescue Foundation instead of presents.

The group of 12 families gathered $325. Stav personally delivered the check to the foundation.

Other parents expressed approval of the idea to Silberberg and suggested they may continue the tradition with their kids.

"I feel this is a nice thing to do for your community and for others," Silberberg said.

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