10-Year-Old Asks for Donations to Help Domestic Violence Victims Instead of Birthday Presents | NBC Southern California

10-Year-Old Asks for Donations to Help Domestic Violence Victims Instead of Birthday Presents

If "she's got two cookies, she's always going to give one away if not more," her father said.

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    Prewitt Family, Crowdrise page
    Abbie Prewitt, 10, wears her pajamas as she stands with her arm around her 4-year-old brother Jake. She is asking for donations instead of birthday gifts, she said Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016.

    Instead of writing a fifth grader's typical birthday list with the latest doll or video game, this 10-year-old asks for pajamas and donations to help victims of domestic violence when her birthday rolls around.

    "It's nice to give to people who are cold every night so they can stay warm," Abbie said.

    Abbie Prewitt, of Lancaster, uses her birthday to raise awareness about children who are victims of domestic violence with an annual pajama drive. She collects new pajamas and books to donate to domestic violence shelters, so children who come to the shelters will have a warm pair of pajamas to sleep in and a book to read when they arrive.

    Prewitt's way of thinking about her birthday started changing around her 6th birthday, her father Justin Prewitt said.

    "She's sweet," Justin said. If "she's got two cookies, she's always going to give one away if not more."

    Prewitt had trouble thinking of what she wanted because her birthday is close to Christmas, Justin said. She told her parents she did not know if she needed anything else, and asked what she could do instead.

    "Since my birthday is so close to Christmas and I already have my Christmas wish list already made. It's hard to figure out what I would want," Abbie said.

    After talking to her parents, she held her first drive and collected art supplies for kids who did not have any, Justin said. During her next drive, she started collecting pajamas.

    Now, each year, Prewitt gets excited to do her pajama drive instead of asking for presents. This is her fourth pajama drive.

    "She gets more excited about this than she does about receiving things," Justin said. "It's driven by her."

    Prewitt learned about domestic violence victims through a program at the high school where her mother Amanda teaches. Each year, their family sponsors a child at a domestic violence shelter around Christmas through the program, so their family knew domestic violence shelters were a local area in need.

    In the past, Prewitt has asked people to make online donations to the Pajama Program, but is collecting money herself on a Crowdrise page this year. She plans to use the money to buy the PJs herself, and hopes this change will help ensure the donations are helping children locally.

    Prewitt asks each person to donate $10 "to help provide a pair of warm pajamas and a bedtime story for a child in need," the Crowdrise page reads. 

    One of the shelters Prewitt helps is the Valley Oasis Shelter in Lancaster, but Justin said the donations help a couple of other local shelters as well.

    People have donated nearly 500 pairs of pajamas in the last three years, according to the Crowdrise page for the drive.

    Last year, Abbie collected 150 pairs of pajamas. But this year Abbie is hoping to blow that out of the water by collecting enough money to donate 200 pairs of PJs.

    "The world would be a much happier place if people paid more attention to people in need of something warm at night," Abbie said.

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