The San Lorenzo Moms Offering Moms Support (MOMS) Club is making sure that local needy children have the right supplies to celebrate at least one special day out of the year — their birthday.
After months of fundraising and collecting birthday supplies, nine moms gathered at the hall on Monday to assemble these "birthday in a bag" kits.
Christie Arias, administrative vice president of the local MOMS Club, planned and organized this year's community service project. Despite doing a service project each year, Arias said this was the first time they went with this idea.
"We don't want any child to ever have to sacrifice a birthday because resources are scarce for their family," she said.
From cake and candles to frosting and party plates, the women assembled 50 bags (25 for girls, 25 for boys) full of supplies to ring in the special day. To top off each kit, the moms sent the kids birthday wishes with signed cards.
That same morning, the MOMS Club delivered the kits to the , a volunteer-based food pantry located at 100 Hacienda Ave.
Arias, whose household is big on birthdays, said sometimes adults forget the importance of this day for a child when the family is dealing with financial issues. She feels that a few simple party supplies can can really make a child's day that much more special.
"It gives them something to look forward to," she said.
Marly Smith, a longtime volunteer at the center, said that out of the 1,200 to 1,500 people served each month, about one-third are children. The center has a computer program that lists off all families with kids, including their birthdays. Smith said they will begin passing out the kits to those kids celebrating their special day this month.
Although kids sometimes receive age-appropriate items like books or toys for Christmas, Smith said this is the first time birthday kits were donated to the center.
"It will really make a difference," Smith said. "You [will be able to] see it in their faces how happy they are."
To make donations to the San Lorenzo Family Help Center, contact Marly Smith at 510-278-2085.
For more information about the San Lorenzo MOMS Club, visit www.slzmomsclub.org.