By Jane Harper | The Virginian-Pilot | Nov 18, 2016
For the past few years, Alexis Mattingly has asked for charitable donations instead of birthday gifts.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Humane Society, Hope 4 Life and Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia are some of the previous recipients of her generosity. This year, for her 10th birthday, she decided on a new one after watching the news on TV.
“I saw Anderson Cooper talking about them,” said Alexis, a fourth grader at John B. Dey Elementary School in Virginia Beach.
The longtime CNN anchor was talking about ballistic vests for K-9 officers.
Cooper donated all of his fees from a Norfolk speaking event earlier this year to Spike’s K9 Fund after learning about the death of Krijger, a Norfolk K-9 officer killed during a police standoff in January. More donations poured in when Cooper tweeted about Krijger to his 7 million Twitter followers.
Alexis decided she wanted to help too. She told her mother, Holly, about her plans in August, two months before her Oct. 9 birthday. She also broke the news about the cost of each vest: $2,500.