No one should have to go without on their birthday.
Knowing there are children in the area who do not have a cake or other basics to celebrate their special day led a group of local individuals to develop what is known as the Happy Birthday project. The project created special bags that include items, such as a cake mix, a container of frosting, sprinkles, plates and napkins as well as a special gift.
The bags were then given to the Redwood Area Food Shelf.
“When a family comes in we ask if anyone is having a birthday,” said Cindy Mumme of the food shelf. “If there is they get a bag.”
Compiling the bags was done this past Wednesday morning at Johnson Park Place in Redwood Falls, with funds to help purchase the items coming from the Good Samaritan Society which operates the local assisted living facility.
Each year, explained Jeanne Wepplo, director of nursing services at Johnson Park Place, the Good Samaritan Society awards funds through its social accountability grant program. This year it funded 17 different projects, including two local activities.
“We sent in an application explaining the purpose of what we wanted to do,” said Wepplo, adding she received assistance with the application from Karen Christensen of the Redwood County volunteer program.
The group put together 50 birthday bags Sept. 11, with 25 including items for girls and the rest for boys.
Christensen said the event was conducted during National Day of Service and Remem-brance to honor the memory of those who were killed during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Wepplo added the event is also being held in conjunction with the celebration of assisted living week.
Mumme said the bags being offered through this project are going to last for several months, and she said they really do help meet a need for families in the area.
“Food shelf use continues to increase,” said Mumme, adding there is always a need for more food shelf donations.
In addition to Wepplo and Christensen, those who volunteered their time to help with the project included: Joe and Rita Walter, Janet Minkel, Nora Kempfert, Maxine Meyer, Norma Brandt and Millie Bunting. In assembly line fashion the group made quick work of the project.
The second community project is going to take place in October in observance of fire prevention.