AMHERST - Birthday's are a time of giving and receiving but for Sackville's Nicole Carter birthdays also provide an opportunity to give back.
Carter turned 10-years-old on Feb. 23, and the 28 people who attended her birthday party the week before her birthday were asked to bring items that could be used by Autumn House, which is a transition house for battered women in Amherst.
"I got gifts like toiletries, blankets, kids toys, clothes and food," said Carter.
They ended up filling five large boxes with the gifts and recently presented them to Autumn House.
"The five boxes of supplies were stuffed full," said Terry Cove, executive director of Autumn House. "People will often come in here and they're moving to a new place and they have a lot of needs, so anything that gets donated here is given to people to take to their new home."
Carter is in Grade-4 at Salem Elementary School in Sackville, and this is the fourth year she's donated her gifts to a charity.
"The first year I did the IWK, the second year I did the SPCA, and the third year I did Animal House at Mount Allison," said Carter.
Animal House is a subdivision of the SPCA where Mount Allison University students adopt animals and take care of them while they attend university.
Her birthday party was held at Mount Waverly Hall in Sackville.
"We had a dance leader come from the YMCA, and then we just got to free-play," said Carter. "So we danced and had a lot of fun."
Although she asks friends to bring gifts she can give to charity, Carter doesn't go without.
This year she wanted a fish for her birthday.
"I got a beta fish," said Carter. "I named it Fin. It's a light, bluish, indigo colour."
She now has one dog, three cats, two bunny rabbits and 25 laying hens.
Her laying hens provide an income for the young entrepreneur.
She's been selling eggs to her neighbours for almost two years now.
"I'm saving for trip to Florida," said Carter.
Asked what charity she will choose to donate to next year Carter said she hasn't decided yet, but she said she will definitely be asking friends to bring gifts she can then give away.