Stone Mountain Rotary Club doesn’t forget birthdays

Imagine what it would be like to be a kid again and your birthday not celebrated.

The impact is significant, yet it costs so little to do. Unfortunately for families struggling to meet their basic food needs, there is no wiggle room to splurge.

According to Feeding America’s website, “More than one in every five Georgia kids live in food insecure households.”

The Rotary Club of Stone Mountain has a 10-year relationship with the Stone Mountain Cooperative Ecumenical Ministry and selecting them for their next project was a good match.

Recently, the Rotary Club created about 60 birthday bags during a weekly lunch meeting to be included in the co-op’s food pantry.

“One of the various pop-up projects talked about were birthday bags. The need that a lot of us don’t think about. There are food pantries that help families in need and to make sure families with kids have nutritious food,” said the Rotary Club’s public relations chair Lizbeth Dison.

“Maybe it’s kinda silly, but what about the fun things? What about the non-nutritious items?,” asked Dison.

Easy, fun and inexpensive. All the things needed for a basic birthday celebration – a baking pan, cake mix, frosting, birthday candles and decorations made up the special bags.

“Parents usually bring something to school to share with classmates on their child’s birthday. This allows those children to participate on the same level as the other kids in the class,” said Dison.

A project (200 bags) coming up later this year will also include bags for graduations, confirmations and christening to cover those other significant events, according to Dison.

With a large number of members being in their 60’s, “we choose projects that encourage a younger group to join in - not just donating money, but engaged in hands-on stuff also,” she said.

SMRC is education oriented and partners with schools ranging from elementary to college on a regular basis.

“Education is close to the heart of a lot of our members and it’s really something we hope can encourage these kids as they grow up to realize what Rotary does and become members,” Dison said.

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