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It’s a Celebration!

2017 NHS Catholic Schools Week Service Project

Casey Wells, Journalism Club Editor

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Look around this week, and you’ll notice new scenery decking the Marian halls: colorful signs, all handmade by NHS members. Some are decorated with balloons and gift boxes, while others try to catch the eyes of passersby with simple colorful flair. In the entire school, there is only one poster that is bedazzled, with a single slice of cake drawn on; bonus points if you can find it. All of these posters are meant to advertise the same thing: National Honor Society’s “Birthday Boxes” service project.

The premise is simple: not all families in our local community can afford a celebration when their children reach a birthday. These boxes seek to remedy that issue. Rather than having families go out and purchase typical birthday items, things like cake mix and small toys are compiled into boxes from student donations, decorated, and donated. It is a wide-reaching project, recruiting both the Marian student body and the Catholic area schools.

All are asked to bring in shoe boxes, arguably the most important part of the service project, and each grade division is assigned an additional set of birthday items to bring in. The freshman and kindergarten-through-second grade classes are asked to bring in small toys, plates, cups, and napkins; sophomores and third-through-fifth graders are asked for cake mix, candles, cookie mix, streamers, and brownie mix; juniors and sixth-through-eighth graders are asked for non-perishable canned frosting, sprinkles and other baking decorations, balloons, wrapping paper, and ribbons. Seniors are asked to bring whatever they think will be useful.

Students should not worry about being turned away for bringing in items outside of their requested range. The point of the project is, after all, to help people, not exclude them, stresses NHS President Claire Van Der Bosch (12).

The birthday boxes were chosen to be the organization’s Catholic Schools’ Week project because they are a good way to get people involved and to contribute different types of items to the food pantry. People don’t generally think of the trouble less fortunate families face with each birthday, so food pantries rarely get those sorts of specific goods. The birthday boxes are a great way to give back to the community in a more nontraditional way, says Van Der Bosch.

Students wishing to donate items to the cause may do so outside the main office. Look for the two large, colorfully wrapped boxes under the TV by the Mary statue. The service project will be running for all of Catholic Schools’ Week, from January 30 to February 3.

UPDATE: The Birthday in a Box Drive was an amazing success! NHS collected over 900 different birthday items and will be packaging and shipping the boxes off to the food pantry soon. Thank you to everyone who donated!

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It’s a Celebration!