- Associated Press - Sunday, August 6, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A woman has been hosting monthly birthday parties for anywhere between 10 to 60 kids at a local community center in Lincoln.

Susan Brown hosts the monthly parties at F Street Community Center, where she serves meals to kids in need every weekend, the Lincoln Journal Star reported .

Children who celebrated a birthday that month can walk to the birthday closet, where they pick a toy of their choice.

“We try to have gifts that have a value of about $20 to $25,” Brown said. The reason I chose that number is because for a lot of these kids, this is the only gift they get, so we want it to be something nice and something they choose because we want to make sure they’re getting something they want.”

Brown was inspired after her daughter said how sad she was watching children spend all day at the center without food. Brown started a Facebook group named “We Can Do This,” who meets at the center on the first Saturday of every month. They buy food and gifts for the birthday closet, as well as prepare and hand out meals.

“If we can help out, we will,” Brown said.

Her goal is to find businesses or organizations to sponsor the program by providing meals once a month. She said it takes only about $1 to serve a meal to a child, and is proud they’ve been thrifty enough to keep costs so low.

Brown said that as a single mother, she knows how hard it can be to support a family. She feels lucky to have the opportunity to help the kids, whether that’s by giving them a meal or throwing them a birthday party.

“The families that send their kids here are just trying to make it,” she said. “A birthday present is not always something they can provide because they’re trying to survive and pay their bills.”

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com


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