PULASKI — The highlight of Holly McCarty’s year has always been her birthday party and, in a time of financial distress for countless families, the Pulaski Academy and Central School District senior is making sure no local child is without a proper celebration for their big day.
McCarty contrived the idea for “birthday bags,” filled with a baking pan, cake mix, frosting, birthday-themed plates and napkins, small decorations, balloons, and a small gift, as part of the criteria for the Snow Academic Achievement Scholarship for eligible PACS seniors.
“People in the community have access to the food pantry, but a lot of the time, they don’t have access to extra things,” she said. “I want to give other kids the joy that I always had from being able to have a birthday party.”
McCarty is distributing bags to local pick-up sites including the North Country Christian Church Soup Kitchen in Lacona, Pulaski Community Cupboard in Pulaski, and Rural & Migrant Ministries in Richland. She is also working to create a Facebook page for her project and anonymous “birthday bag” pick-up sites at both Lura Sharp Elementary and Pulaski Middle-High School to ensure PACS families have convenient access.
“I didn’t want there to be a stigma or a sense of embarrassment,” McCarty said.
Families or students who wish to anonymously request a bag or donate materials may contact PACS Middle School English/literacy teacher Jill Truax at firstname.lastname@example.org.