Each homeroom is tasked with decorating boxes for two children —
one boy and one girl. The students work together to cover the boxes
with drawings of birthday cakes, smiley faces, and encouraging
“It helps students feel like they left their mark,” Schmidt
says. “They want the kids who receive it to smile when
they see the decorations.”
The school community often contributes more items than
will fit in the students’ creations, so Schmidt makes extra boxes
herself. This year, the school was able to make a total of 33
boxes with the donated goods.
Once the Birthday Boxes are prepared, students help load
them into Schmidt’s van for delivery. She takes them to Mary’s
Cupboard food center in Levittown, where the boxes are
distributed to patrons in need.
St. Ignatius participates in several collections, drives, and service
projects throughout the year, but Schmidt says Birthday Boxes are
a favorite among students and food pantry patrons. In fact, the
program’s success has led to a surprise of its own.
“We emailed Plfaum to thank them, since they’re the reason
we started this project,” Schmidt says. “They sent me a response
saying they would like to write a piece based on our school’s
Birthday Box project.”
The story is scheduled to run next month — in the
November issue of Good News.
“This project helps
empathy for children
who might not get
to have the same
experiences we do.”