Birthday-in-a-Bag Service Project

Just the other day I was blogging about seeking out local opportunities to help those who are in need.  Specifically, I was hoping to find extra ways to craft for the communities in Wichita, but last night, a different opportunity arose at my daughter’s Girl Scout meeting; and funny enough, it is another cause about which I am wholeheartedly passionate.

Our amazing leader, Melissa, organized a service project for our girls with the Kansas Food Bank, called Birthday-in-a-Bag.  The idea here, being that parents/grandparents/ guardians who can’t afford to throw their child a birthday celebration may go to the KS Food Bank, and essentially, pick up all of the birthday supplies that they may need, already packed into a large gift bag, ready-to-go!

DSC_8303When I think that there are children in this country of wealth who do not get enough to eat, who do not get three square meals a day (like the criminals in our penal system do), who go to bed hungry every night, it brings tears to my eyes.  Add to that, how many families lack the necessary means to celebrate their children’s birthdays?  To not be able to make that one day of the year feel extra special for their child?

I want to add a little musical flare to this blog post – I’m sure no one is surprised by this!  If I could have my own perpetual soundtrack playing in the background of my life, I’d be elated beyond belief!  My Hubbs has recently started playing the song, My Own Little World by Matthew West, which is on my faves list.  This song has a great message, poignant lyrics, and happens to fit in perfectly with my blog post for today!  I still can’t sing it all the way through without getting all choked up…  Let’s see if I can blog all the way through without getting all choked up…  bear with me…

In my own little world it hardly ever rains.  I’ve never gone hungry, always felt safe.  I got some money in my pocket, shoes on my feet.  In my own little world:  population – me….

What if there’s a bigger picture?  What if I’m missing out?  What if there’s a greater purpose?  I could be living right now, outside my own little world…

DSC_8305Last night, the girls brought donations of:

  • cake mix
  • frosting
  • disposable cake pans
  • plates, napkins, cups, cutlery
  • decorations
  • invitations, thank you notes
  • candles
  • party favors, hats, blowers
  • gift bags

The girls paired up to pack the bags in teams.  Melissa had checklists for each pair of girls (with the items listed above) so that they could check each one off the list as they walked down the Hallway of Birthday Supply Donations!

DSC_8304Stopped at a red light, looked out my window.  I saw a cardboard sign said, “Help this homeless widow.”  And just above that sign was the face of a human…  I thought to myself, “God, what have I been doing?”  So I rolled down the window and I looked her in the eye.  Oh, how many times have I just passed her by?  I gave her some money then I drove on through.  And my own little world reached population two.

What if there’s a bigger picture?  What if I’m missing out?  What if there’s a greater purpose?  I could be living right now, outside my own little world…

And, choking up….

Our scouts also designed birthday cards for the unknown future recipients of our Birthdays-in-a-Bag.  They decorated them with scrapbook paper, stickers, and a few other embellishments.


Caption:  Yes, this IS my daughter – I claim her and all of her cute, crazy zeal!

This service project was a great way to teach the girls at a young age to look past themselves, to think about donating their time and talent to help others who might be in need.  Ms. Melissa has organized other projects in the past where giving to others has been the ultimate focus, and I thank her greatly for that!  Let’s teach our children, the future generation, that it is our/their duty and privilege to help the hurting people in our communities.

Father, break my heart for what breaks Yours.  Give me open hands and open doors.  Put Your light in my eyes and let me see, that my own little world is not about me….

What if there’s a bigger picture?  What if I’m missing out?  What if there’s a greater purpose?  I could be living right now, outside my own little world…

I don’t wanna miss what matters.  I wanna be reaching out.  Show me the greater purpose, so I can start living right now, outside my own little world, my own little world….

Tears streaming down my face…

If you live in Kansas, and this type of project interests you, please contact the Kansas Food Bank to donate food, to donate a Birthday-in-a-Bag, or to volunteer your time sorting food!  Check out their website:  for address, phone number, and program information.

If you live in a different state and are interested in helping with a project like this, please contact your local food bank, and find out how you can help!

Let’s get outside of our little worlds today!

And, if you haven’t heard Matthew West’s song My Own Little World before, please check it out!

Happy to have participated in the Birthday-in-a-Bag project for the Kansas Food Bank!

About cjbolinger

I am a stay-at-home mother of three children (Ben, Alex, and Christian), a wife who is head-over-heels in love with her husband of 13 years (Gregg), a hobbyist photographer, and a lover of everything crafty! Follow my attempts at domesticity as I cook, clean, and craft for my family...
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7 Responses to Birthday-in-a-Bag Service Project

  1. wmtoolbox says:

    I loooooove this idea!! Pinning to my missions and outreach board for Women’s Ministry leaders. :)Thanks for sharing!

  2. We have a local food food bank here and I’ll be calling them Monday. I too said a prayer that God uses me in a way that I could never think of before. To reach out of my own little world and reach others who are in need is a privilege. So off I go to join in your wonderful idea and more. Thank you for waking me back up on this subject once again. God bless you and yours!

  3. D says:

    I run a food bank and I think this would be wonderful to receive a donation of these gift bags. We have gotten request for “anything” to make the birthday ‘special’ Sometimes we can provied the family with a cake mix or special cookies but not much else. So if you work with kids this project would be wonderful.

  4. Aimee Imbeau says:

    What a fantastic idea! May I include this post to my blog round up?
    With so many items available at the dollar store, this would be such a great way to share the love of Christ! I’m going to be doing this with my kids!

  5. Cissi vitalie says:

    Our girl scout service unit is doing this right now! As the leader of two troops I think it isimportant as most of our girls “are in living in their own world ” and need to see there are others out there not so fortunate. Thank you for sharing the song I don’t believe I’ve heard it before.

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