PEPPERELL -- Most children enjoy their special day of the year, their birthday.
Many times it is with a party and lots of presents. But that is not always the case. Many children who would like to celebrate in a memorable way are not able to. However, one girl and now several students have worked to make a "happy birthday" possible.
In 2013, Olivia Sergi was asked by her high school teacher to create a project that would impact her community in some way. Once she got to thinking she thought about someone she knew who never had a birthday party as a child. That had a strong effect on Olivia since every party she had growing up was always so special. It was impossible to imagine not having them as a child.
Olivia wanted every child to be able to celebrate their birthday.
Thus Olivia created the organization, Birthday Boxes. Olivia worked with PACH (Pepperell Aid from Community to Home) to make her project come true.
Since then the Birthday Boxes project has grown and with Olivia off to college, the opportunity has been passed to her younger neighbor, Nicole Landino, who is a junior at NMRHS.
Birthday Boxes Project gets names of eligible families provide by PACH (Pepperell Aid from Community to Home) and the birthday date, gender, and age of the child. From there a list is made and forwarded on to Birthday Boxes.
A list of birthdays is created monthly with boxes usually between 2-8. As you can imagine, this process isn't cheap. In order to keep the organization going there has been fundraisers annually at Country Day School in Groton, a booth was hosted at the Hollis Home Days Fair in the fall, girl scout troops have brought donations, and family as well as friends around our community have contributed. Most of the supplies are purchased at Family Dollar, Wal-Mart, or Target.
In order to get all of the boxes completed for the beginning of each month there have been many people helping along the way. When Olivia began the project, a fellow student helped her accomplish this substantial responsibility. Now, many more people have helped out such as Andrew Carney, Isabella Santeufemio, Abby Johnson, and the rest of the Landino family. The organization would not be possible without the continuous contribution of others.
Those who are interested in helping Birthday Boxes can donate birthday party essentials such as plates, cups, napkins, plastic utensils, party hats, decorations, an activity or game, an age based present, and a gift certificate for Donelan's Supermarket to purchase a cake. Donations can be dropped off at PACH donations boxes located a Donelan's, US Post Office, or PACH office in a bag labeled for Birthday Boxes. A simple gesture will help make a child's birthday special and warm your own heart. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org