WHEELING, Ill. - Maya Schaab of Wheeling is making her birthday wish come true.
She’s donating a "party in a box" to her local food pantry.
"I just think lots of people haven't celebrated their birthday in a long time and I wanted to bring a smile to their face," said 7-year-old Maya.
Maya’s mom, Olivia, said her daughter was concerned that the pandemic may have prevented kids from having a birthday party or eating a birthday meal, so she came up with the idea of donating birthday boxes.
Each box contains all the ingredients for a cake, including the pan and sprinkles, as well as two gift cards for a birthday meal and a gift.
Each box is valued at about $27. Maya’s mom started a GoFundMe page for her efforts and she’s been collecting money from friends and neighbors.
Maya personally delivers the birthday boxes to the Wheeling Township Food Pantry.
"When we donated the first seven boxes, just before her seventh birthday, they told Maya how important it is, not only for kids, which is what Maya was thinking when she started all this, but also for senior citizens who might not have family around," said Olivia.
Food pantry director Julie Villarreal said the donation has been a blessing.
"It makes me feel happy," said Maya of her donation.
She hopes her special gift will inspire others to pay it forward.
"I hope that kindness is contagious," said Maya.
To check out Maya’s Birthday Box drive, you can visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/birthday-boxes-for-the-hungry.