IGNITE Fall 2018 - Page 6

Schmidt first got the idea for the project from Good News, a weekly publication from Pflaum Publishing Group. After implementing Birthday Boxes as a Catholic Schools Week service project at Saint Aloysius Catholic School in Pottstown, she brought the project with her to St. Ignatius, where it’s been a hit for the past eight years. Each Birthday Box is an exercise in collaboration. Teachers compile lists of birthday supplies for boys and girls of different ages. Parents of students sign up to make contributions. The boxes themselves are donated by Cramer’s Bakery in Yardley. And when all the supplies are compiled, the students get to work. “I try to get them to imagine how it would feel if your parents couldn’t afford to buy you simple supplies for a party,” Schmidt says. “It makes the students want to help, and it helps them have empathy for children who might not get to have the same experiences we do, unless we all chip in.” 6