12-12-12 birthday girl asks for shoes to re-gift

For her 11th birthday - on 12-12-12 - Jillian Walker, center, in pink shirt, asked friends to bring a pair of shoes rather than gifts to her party. She plans to give the shoes to a charity or women and children's shelter. For her 11th birthday - on 12-12-12 - Jillian Walker, center, in pink shirt, asked friends to bring a pair of shoes rather than gifts to her party. She plans to give the shoes to a charity or women and children's shelter.

By Donna Thornton/News Editor

This past week many marked the uniqueness of the 12-12-12 date by getting married, or doing something that required an extra bit of luck that the last repeating date of the century might offer.

Jillian Walker of Southside, who turned 11 on Wednesday, made her birthday special by asking for gifts that she can give to others.

Jillian’s mom Lynne Walker said Jillian came up with the idea to ask friends who came to her party to bring a pair of shoes that the Walker family could then donate to a shelter or home that needs the help.

“She said she gets a lot during December anyway,” Lynne said. She said the family would like to donate the shoes to one of the assistance organizations that may not get as much help. Lynne said there are women and children’s shelters in Boaz and Anniston, and that one of them might be the final destination for the donated shoes.

Lynne and husband Scott Walker had been thinking about the 12-12-12 birthday for some time.

“We’ve been waiting for this one,” she said. Because of the unusual date, they elected to have a midweek party on the 12th rather than planning a weekend celebration.

So after school, Jillian and a group of friends and classmates went to the Gadsden Mall for a photo scavenger hunt, then headed to the park in Rainbow City to finish the party with burgers, cake and other goodies.

And they brought the shoes that they’d obtained earlier, or bought during their time at the Mall, and stacked them on a table at the park, so they could see what they were getting ready to give to others.

Jillian was too caught up in the fun of the party to analyst her unselfish act. She said she didn’t really know what gave her the idea to give to others, rather than getting something for herself for this special birthday.

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