birthday bag

A cheerful birthday bag is delivered to the front door of a family coping with cancer while raising kids at home. The bag contains all the supplies needed to celebrate a child’s upcoming birthday. Photo courtesy: Julie Sandberg

It’s a day or two before your child’s birthday.  You are coping with the side effects of chemotherapy, surgery or radiation and the thought of even pulling together the simplest birthday party seems overwhelming.  As a parent, you want to keep life as “normal” as possible during cancer treatment.

With the help of Junior League of Olympia, The Mayday Foundation has stepped in to help local families coping with cancer celebrate a child’s birthday. Here’s how the birthday bags work. For each Mayday family, we collect the birth dates of the children living at home. Then, a few days before the occasion, a birthday bag is dropped at a family’s doorstep by a Mayday volunteer.  Each bag includes all the supplies to make a small birthday party successful, including cake mix, frosting, sprinkles and then a Safeway gift card for a special meal item and a Barnes and Noble gift card to pick out a new book.  Thanks to Meconi’s Italian Subs, each child also receives a gift card to head out for a sandwich.

Our goal is to bring joy and cheer into a home otherwise consumed by the darkness inflicted by cancer. Celebrating a child’s birthday is a chance to forget cancer for a moment and focus on family.

Over the course of the next year or so, 45 birthday bags will be delivered to Thurston County families coping with cancer while raising kids at home. Special thanks to Junior League of Olympia for the grant funding and stuffing each birthday bag. Your gift of time and resources makes a difference in the community.

A similar project, funded by the Grays Harbor Community Foundation in conjunction with the Cancer Alliance of Grays Harbor, is currently underway in Grays Harbor.  More than 50 bags will be delivered to cancer patients in this community.

To donate to projects, like our birthday bags, that bring joy to cancer patients, please click here.

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