This Morris Township 2nd grader doesn’t want birthday toys. Save the planet instead.

For her 8th birthday, Ruby Kessler is raising money for Sea Legacy. Photo: Paul Nicklen


Ruby Kessler doesn’t want toys for her 8th birthday. She wants you to buy an apple cider doughnut instead.

The 2nd grader from Hillcrest Elementary School will be selling doughnuts this Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019, outside of SmartWorld Coffee on South Street in Morristown. Proceeds go to Sea Legacy, a conservation nonprofit started by Paul Nicklen.

Ruby Kessler just turned 8. To celebrate, she is raising money for ocean conservation.

“He takes amazing photographs for National Geographic of polar bears, penguins, orca whales, leopard seals, narwhals and many other amazing creatures that live on or around sea ice,” Ruby explains on her GoFundMe page, where she aims to raise $500 as her birthday present to Sea Legacy.

“Paul taught me that this ice is melting from climate change, negatively impacting the sea life around it,” she says.

Ruby heard Nicklen on a podcast her mother played over the summer. The topic resonated with the Morris Township youngster.

“Since I was 3 years old, I fell in love with all sea creatures and I am able to identify many different types and species, common and rare,” maybe 100 altogether, Ruby estimates.

She hopes these beautiful creatures still will be around when she grows up.

Ruby will be around SmartWorld (74 South St.) from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm on Saturday. She plans to bring plenty of doughnuts.

[interactive_copyright_notice float='left']
[icopyright_horizontal_toolbar float='right']


  1. You go, Ruby! What a positive story – it’s great to see attention paid to a selfless act. Thank you MG for running this. As for Ruby, this is an eight-year-old who’s not asking for more toys? How about that! I know where I’m going Saturday. 🙂