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Holy Family Early Learning Center Donates Over 60 'Birthday Boxes' to The Pantry

March 10, 2021

By Suzanne Carlos, Development Coordinator
Holy Family Catholic Academy and Early Learning Center

Birthday Celebrations in a Box Provide Children in Need with Happy Birthdays

Holy Family Early Learning Center (ELC) lead teacher, Mrs. Chelsea Dean, led her preschool students in a school-wide Birthday Box community service initiative to benefit The Pantry. A total of 61 Birthday Boxes were donated to The Pantry, whose mission is to serve the community by developing innovative ways to effectively serve, with dignity and compassion, the daily food needs of a greater number of Hawaii's working people who struggle with food insecurity including children, the elderly, and those who are disabled. Each Birthday Box consisted of a 6-quart clear plastic shoe box with a lid filled with a boxed cake mix, frosting, sprinkles, birthday candles and a birthday card.  Optional additions to the boxes included a pack of balloons, streamers, and birthday noisemakers. These birthday celebrations in a box will be handed out to families at The Pantry, so that children in need will get the chance to have a birthday cake, blow out candles and make a birthday wish on their special day.

To commemorate their 25th Anniversary, Holy Family Early Learning Center is organizing monthly service projects to benefit the greater community. To broaden their scope and impact, students and their families from both the ELC (preschool) and Holy Family Catholic Academy (kindergarten-grade 8) are invited to participate. In August, the ELC conducted a Pet Shelter Towel Donation Drive where they donated 116 towels to the Hawaiian Humane Society. In September, the ELC conducted a 'Quarter Drive' and raised $1,100 for HUGS Hawaii. In October, students created over 430 handmade 'Cards of Gratitude' for Hawaii's healthcare workers to express their appreciation for the medical personnel that have worked tirelessly throughout the COVID pandemic. In November, the school held a canned food drive and donated over 1,300 cans--equal to 1,217 pounds of food--to the Hawaii Foodbank. In December, over 2,800 diapers, 106 packages of baby wipes, and $50 was donated to the Aloha Diaper Bank. In January, 366 pairs of new slippers were donated to the Institute for Human Services.

To commemorate its 25th Anniversary this school year, Holy Family Early Learning Center is welcoming monetary donations from interested donors to support their special projects and enrichment activities including playground improvements, Hawaiiana curriculum and their school garden. Those interested in donating may contact ELC Director, Mr. Allen Akiona, at (808) 421-1265 or via email at aakiona@hfcahawaii.org.