Seventeen-year-old Chanel Mortimer surprised her parents and others with her decision that, instead of presents for her March 17 birthday, that guests and relatives instead provide cash or food donation for food banks. 

“This came out of the blue, totally unexpected,” said her mother, Darla Mortimer. “We are very proud of her, and touched as well. She does think of others, not herself, and has a heart for the needy.” 

When asked where the idea come from, Chanel Mortimer said that she “participated in the Good Karma 5K Run last May, and obtained commitments for donations that she dedicated to NW Harvest that provides food to food banks.” 

“Prior to my birthday this year, I realized that I already had everything I needed. Clothes, family, house and food. I didn’t need anything else. I remembered NW Harvest, but wanted to do something more local. A family friend makes donations to the Bischoff Food Bank, so that’s what I decided to do,” she said. 

Mortimer received $157 in cash which she donated online to NW Harvest. She received enough food to fill three large boxes which were wrapped in cellophane and delivered to the Bischoff Food Bank in Home. 

“We were surprised and shocked that a 17 year old would be so selfless and compassionate. There is always a shortage for food for those in need. This restored our faith in the upcoming generation,” said  Kimberly Miller, the operations manager for Bischoff. 

Mortimer has been homeschooled her entire life. She expects to receive her high school diploma in June 2016. She is in the Running Start program, taking college classes at TCC. Her current goal is to obtain a masters degree in occupational therapy. 

She babysits for spending money, and is learning how to drive. 

“It’s important for young people to get involved in charities,” Mortimer said. “Maybe do without your daily cup of coffee, and make a donation. It gives you a real good feeling.”