Article by Ally Goldsmith ’20:
On December 9, Kellenberg Memorial High School began a fundraiser to aid homeless children on Long Island. Students were able to donate toys up until the sixteenth of December. We worked with a charity called Birthday Wishes which is based in Hicksville. It provides underprivileged children with toys on their birthday. Birthday Wishes improves and empowers the lives of homeless children and their families by providing joy, play, and hope through the magic of a birthday party.
In the spirit of the Christmas season, we celebrate Jesus’ birth and life. In this time of giving, it is important to celebrate all lives and those lives that experience hardship on a daily basis.
I was inspired to bring this idea to the ARK when I realized how capable I am to help the people in my community. I spent hours every night researching charities that would be accessible to work with Kellenberg. Finally, when I found Birthday Wishes, I knew that it was the perfect charity. Their goal is to bring a smile to a child’s face when a smile might be a rarity in their lives and that is what drew me to this charity. Their philosophy fosters the spirit of volunteerism and community service which matches Kellenberg’s motto of “service of self.” Students in all grades brought hundreds of gifts to the lobby before homeroom. The decorative Christmas sleigh was piled high with toys for boys and girls of all ages. Basketballs, footballs, legos, and blankets were donated for boys and lotion, perfume, and dolls were donated for girls.
When the gifts were brought to Birthday Wishes’ headquarters in Hicksville, they said that they had never received so many donations. I had a feeling that this would be the case because the Kellenberg community is incredibly generous and always willing to go the extra mile to help people in need.
This drive was especially important to me because I had a part in bringing hope and love to children who live so close to me, but live an incredibly different life than me and my peers.