GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Instead of asking for presents at her birthday party, a Byron Center girl asked for donations of art supplies for the kids at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids.

Lucy Maines had her sixth birthday on July 7. She asked for bowling party and wanted to invite 20 friends. Her mom and dad were happy to make that happen, but they didn’t want all those presents.

“Lucy’s heart has always been a very giving loving heart,” Lucy’s mom, Kristi Maines, said.

She wanted to foster that and forgo the pile of gifts that would end up cluttering the house.

“It made sense that if Mom and Dad get you a gift and your friends can do this (give donations), there can be this balance,” she said.

Lucy thought it was a good idea.

“Because I like helping people,” she said.

So she had her friends bring art supplies to the party instead of gifts. She collected to bags full of crayons, colored pencils, coloring books and other supplies.

“It’s a huge help,” said Cassie Patel, a child life specialist at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

The hospital says it has hundreds of child patients who go through thousands of crayons and coloring pencils each year.

“A lot of the time, we need distractions so we use donations like Lucy brought in to kind of get kids’ minds off what’s happening during the procedure,” Petel said.

“I think with every kid, there’s this piece of their soul that’s compassionate, and I think Lucy has that compassionate heart and I think she learned that there is actually something you can do with that, that there are actually actions you can take to give to others and it’s pretty easy to do,” Kristi Maines said.

If you would like to make a donation, the hospital has a wish list of needed items. For more information about making donations, contact Laurie Alighire at 616.391.9125 or