Every year, a third-grader works hard to make every boy and girl feel special on their birthday.
As one young girl demonstrated with her large, birthday-loving heart, it’s never too early to begin giving back. As Bella Smith learned that not everyone in her school was able to enjoy their special day, she became motivated to do something about it. In 2017, Bella was seven years old when it all began. One of her classmates at Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary School in Kentucky told her that his family couldn’t afford even a tiny birthday celebration.
Smith’s mother, Marlana Evans, told Good Morning America that her child struggles with a lot of things. “She attends a Title 1 school, which means 80 percent of the population is impoverished, so there are students who struggle in many ways.”Bella also said to Lex 18 news, “I went from being happy to miserable.”
The result was Bella’s Birthday Box, her own philanthropic side business. Bella and Marlana created their own version of the school’s bag club and sent supplies home to needy students. With birthday boxes, a child can hold a complete birthday party with their family, including cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, balloons, and other decorations.
According to the family, these successful boxes are stocked thanks to the kindness of the community. For her birthdays, Bella often asks people to donate stuff to the boxes instead of giving her gifts. Her school then distributes the boxes. When the story went viral in March 2019, Bella had already packed 65 boxes. By April, she had packed 140 boxes.
“It’s true that not everyone has what I have. In response, Bella said, “I’d like to share a little bit of my birthday with them.” Her mother added, “She has always been kind and helpful to others. “By October 2019, Betty Crocker heard about the story and decided to help. In addition to a gift package, Bella also received a donation of cake mix and icing to assist in creating the next batch of boxes. Bella’s story appeared in an anthology of stories about good children called Unselfish Kids by the end of the year.
Bella told GMA, “I thank God for the opportunity to share my light and demonstrate that I love my neighbor.”
Bella’s story showed that she not only helped a number of children celebrate birthdays they otherwise would not have been able to, but also inspired others to do the same. Her altruistic act of asking for money instead of gifts on her birthday shows that it is never too early (or late!) to start giving back.
There are some who don’t have time to make donation boxes for children, families, or people in need, but things like donating items to these boxes, or simply asking how you can help, can make all the difference in someone’s life.
There are always food banks and food programs in need of gifts or cash to assist them in getting the fresh food they need at their drop-in centers. Are you a busy person? Next time you’re at the grocery store, put a few extra non-perishable items in your cart and drop them off in the donation bins at the end of the cashier’s line.
According to the old adage, every little bit counts.