For a second year in a row, Daniel Giles decided to spend his birthday helping others — specifically whales. This young man from Maple Valley choose to forgo birthday presents, and instead raise money for the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Daniel, who is 16 years old last month, has had significant medical challenges in his life, yet he has not only persevered through tough situations, but also has chosen to give back to support wildlife conservation.
“Daniel has always had a love for the ocean. It’s been his favorite destination since he was able to walk. With some education and mentoring, he’s learned a deep respect for all the creatures in the sea,” explains Tami Giles, Daniel’s mother.
Daniel become interested in Sea Shepherd after watching Whale Wars, and during his recent birthday he got some very special Skype calls.
“[W]e were very excited that Sea Shepherd offered to make a birthday page for Dan, so that people would have a place to donate online in honor of his 16th birthday. Captain Watson graciously offered to Skype in to his party, which was a real highlight for Daniel and our guests,” says Tami Giles.
Captain Paul Watson was the commander of the Sea Shepherd fleet for 35 years. The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society fights whaling and other egregious killing and abuse of sea mammals around the world.
For Daniel’s 15th birthday, he raised approximately $350 for Sea Shepherd and the Orca Network. This year, with the fundraising page still accepting donations, Daniel’s decision to give instead of receive for his birthday has now garnered more than $700 in donations to support wildlife conservation.
In honor of Daniel’s generosity, David Kirby, bestselling author of Death at SeaWorld, also Skyped into Daniel’s party, and the family held a drawing for party guests for an autographed copy of Kirby’s book.
“It was so much fun, my son said he wanted to do this every year for his birthday,” says Tami Giles.
For information or to donate to Sea Shepherd, visit Daniel’s Sea Shepherd page.