Sixth Grader Asked Her Friends to Donate to the Montclair YMCA's Giving Tree for Her Birthday

unnamedHappy 12th birthday, Miranda Spaulding!

This local sixth grader from Glenfield Middle School in Montclair decided she didn’t want presents for herself this year. Instead, she asked her friends and family to grab a tag off of the Montclair YMCA Giving Tree and donate items for single-parent families with special needs. On the invitations, she called it, “Miranda’s Birthday Holiday Charity Party,” her mother Rachel told me.

Why did she do this? “My birthday is in December, and I figured I have enough stuff!” Miranda said.

Everyone loved her idea. “Everyone was very generous with their donations of gifts and groceries,” Miranda added. “A few of them donated money so my mom could go and shop for items on the list.” Then at the party on a recent Friday night, kids wrapped the presents and made cards (see photo). “Then we had some dancing in the basement,” she said.

Other kids with this idea should just do it: “I felt good, and it made me really happy,” Miranda said.

Kimberley Griffiths, the Y’s director of Youth, Teens and Family, was in awe of Miranda’s holiday spirit. “This doesn’t happen often,” she said. “Most children her age might not fully understand or be exposed to the needs of people in their communities. Miranda has set the bar for other youth to follow suit.”

Do you and your child want to throw a charity party of your own? You can–any time of year. Griffiths said the Y always need money for their scholarship programs. “And in order for the programs to be successful and help so many people, we also have ongoing wishes–examples are board games, DVD’s, reading books, art supplies and outdoor sports equipment. A little can go a long way here at the Y.” Email Griffiths for more info.

“I have a P.S.,” Miranda added. “My mom was really helpful in pulling the whole thing together, my dad took great pictures at the party, and my brother helped entertain my friends while they were wrapping and making cards.”

We hope you have a great holiday, Miranda.

Happy, happy and merry, merry to everyone from Barista Kids!

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