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Surprise!!

Since today is Laura’s 11th birthday, I’ve snuck on to her blog today to surprise her with this little message: Happy Birthday Lu!!!!! We love you!!!!

Our morning was filled with balloons and flowers and long-awaited presents. Laura headed out the door this morning eager to see her friends at school. She is lookinig forward to celebrating with the cookie cake that she balanced in her hands as she tip-toed across the ice that last night’s storm left in its wake. I often wonder, though, who enjoys Laura’s birthday most? Being the mom is often quite a lot of fun on days like today. Giving is always a gift in itself, and putting a smile on your own birthday girl’s face is one of the greater rewards that parents get to reap.

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When Laura decided to support Cheerful Givers this month, I could not have been happier, and today seems like the perfect day to spread the word about this wonderful organization. Cheerful Givers promotes gift giving for underprivileged children. What we like best about this organization is the fact that we are able to give locally. In order to be a “cheerful giver” you may work alone or with others to create birthday gift bags that you may then donate to a local shelter, food pantry, or other organization that services the needy. Gifts are then provided to parents who may not otherwise have the ability to purchase a birthday present for their child. Cheerful Givers provides guidelines that help ensure that the gift bags are filled with items that children will love and use, and they credit volunteers for their efforts by asking you to let them know how many bags you fill, how many volunteers you worked with, and where the bags were distributed.

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The Efforts of One Brownie Troop

Laura and I have been in frequent contact with Karen Kitchel, the President of Cheerful Givers, for several months now. This week, Karen shared a great idea with me. In honor of her brother’s birthday, she made a donation to Cheerful Givers so that other children could celebrate their own birthdays as a result. Talk about paying something forward! If you are interested in celebrating a birthday in a similar way, you may make a monetary or supply donation here. There is also a birthday certificate pdf file that you may download and give to someone that you care about as well. Laura will be receiving one of these certificates from our family tonight after dinner, and I know that this last small surprise is certain to make her smile.

“Doing charity work is a wonderfully selfish thing to do,” someone mentioned last week, and I couldn’t agree more. There is so much good that comes from giving, and there is so much joy that it brings to the giver. Discovering this has been a tremendous gift for our family….better than anything that comes wrapped up in boxes with paper and bows.

This month, Laura will be using her bottle return money to create gift bags on behalf of Cheerful Givers. These will be donated to her friends at Compass House. Laura will be back tomorrow, writing about Compass House and Cheerful Givers. In the mean time, we have some cake eating to do!

Happy Birthday Laura! We love you!

Love,

Mom

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10 Responses

  1. Happy Birthday Laura!!

  2. Happy birthday!!

  3. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LAURA!!!

    Eat lots of cake. Sing Happy Birthday to yourself. More cake. Hug your family. And have a great day!!!! :D

  4. But of course we get the best gift/donation of all- our wonderful, beautiful, and all- around awesome daughter, Laura!!! Happy birthday! We love you!!!!!

  5. Happy Birthday, Laura! I hope it was just wonderful!

  6. Happy Birthday Laura !
    Enjoy every second of this special day because you really deserve it with your big big big heart and great great spirit!

    Take care Joan

  7. Happy birthday Laura! Sending you some San Diego sunshine! :)

    Deb

  8. [...] 7, 2008 Filed under: 25 Days to Make a Difference — Coco @ 5:27 pm Today, in honor of Laura’s recent birthday, I made a $25 donation to her charity for March, Cheerful [...]

  9. Ugh! I am sorry I missed Laura’s B-day :(

    Laura, Happy belated birthday!

    It is great you are promoting Cheerful Givers this month. I love their mission and the president, Karen Kitchel, is the best.

    BTW – I am going to be discussing the Twenty Five Days to Make a Difference project in an upcoming presentation to a group of internet marketers.

  10. Another late message, but happy birthday wishes to Laura!

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