Kentucky elementary student is determined that no classmates go without birthday cakes
A Kentucky third-grader was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America’s website Monday for a project she started after an impoverished classmate told her he did not get a birthday party at home.
Bella Smith, a 9-year-old from Laurel County, collects donations of cake mixes, icing and party supplies; packs them into boxes; and gives them to the family resource center at her Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary School in London. Family Resource Center staff send the supplies to the homes of students who might not otherwise have a birthday celebration.
“I thank God for the opportunity for letting me be able to shine my light and show that I love my neighbors,” Bella said in a video that GMA posted.
Bella Smith was in the first grade in Laurel County when a classmate told her that his family could not afford to have a birthday party for him, her mother Marlana Evans told the Herald-Leader Monday.
“She was talking to a little boy in her class about her birthday ... and he told her that he didn’t have a birthday,” said Evans, who is a teacher at Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary. “His family couldn’t afford that so he had never had a birthday party or a cake or any kind of celebration.”
“She wanted me to buy him a cake originally,” Evans said.
Buying every child a cake was not feasible at Wyan-Pine where 80 percent of the students are poor, Evans said. Bella and her mother ultimately decided to fill plastic containers or boxes with cake mix, icing and birthday supplies, such as party hats, balloons and banners, and donate them to the school’s family resource center for distribution.
For the last two years on her own birthday, Bella has asked for donations for the birthday boxes she compiles for others, Evans said. Evans said Bella and her family sometimes use their own money to complete the birthday boxes.
Bella has made 80 boxes this school year. Her goal for this year is 100, “but I think she is going to surpass that,” Evans said. Bella has a “big heart,” Evans said. “You’d have to meet her, she’s a pretty special kid.”