For some kids, a birthday party is a big event, and one local Girl Scout is helping to make those parties possible even if families can’t afford it.
“It makes me really happy that I can give kids a chance to have a birthday party if they can’t and they can celebrate their special day with friends and family,” said Grace Nelson, a senior at Stanley-Boyd High School.
Grace is working on her Girl Scout Gold Award, and decided to give birthday party bags to kids at the elementary school who were also enrolled in the weekend meal program.
The bags were given to 72 kids and included cups, plates, and hats. They also include things like cake pans and party favors.
“I got a $2,000 grant from Wal-Mart this past summer so that helped me with the cost, and each bag costs around roughly $30 each,” said Nelson.
After roughly 80 hours of work and over a year of planning, Grace says it was all worth it.
“It is a lot of work but it was very rewarding,” Nelson said.
On Sunday, families received their birthday party bags and there was also a carnival style celebration with games and a birthday lunch.
“We were really excited,” said Sarah Schmidt, a mother of two kids receiving a birthday bag. “At first we didn’t know what the birthday party was going to involve and the carnival so we were really excited to find out all the details and coming in here and seeing all the decorations. It looks like a lot of planning went in to make this event happen.”
Some families received their bag early so they could have their birthday before the event and those families say they appreciate what Grace has done.
“I thought it was a pretty nice gesture,” said Amber Czubakowski, a mom of a kid receiving a birthday bag. “I was a Girl Scout growing up so I wanted to help support this just because it was coming from Girl Scouts also.”
“I liked the things that were in it,” said Amber’s daughter, Evelyn.
There were over 25 volunteers for the event, and among them was Grace’s sister, Taylor.
“I’m really happy and excited to see her achieve this award,” Taylor said.
As for Grace, she says she owes all her accomplishments to Girl Scouts.
“Girl Scouts really built me to do this. I’ve already done my bronze and silver awards so this is the highest achieving award in Girl Scouts. It feels very good and rewarding.”