On June 23, 2019, junior Ella Singer and freshman Lily Singer announced the start of their charity project called “Birthday and Books.”
Ella and Lily first started volunteering with the help of their mother, Kimberly Singer, who works with the most unprivileged parts of the county, East Broward County, in the Early Childhood Department at Broward County Public Schools. Once they started volunteering, they realized that many students do not receive presents on their birthdays. Ella and Lily have always loved celebrating their birthdays with their family and came to the realization that many children are not as fortunate as them. Both sisters have a passion for reading and have noticed that a plethora of children do not have books at their house.
“I want others to love reading as much as I do,” Ella said. “Additionally, I want to create opportunities for kids to make lasting memories of reading with their families.”
This project first started with an Amazon wishlist consisting of a large amount of new and pre-school level books. Their first class donation was going to a Pre-K class at Martin Luther King Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale. The Singers’ then launched a Plumfund, a fundraising website similar to a GoFundMe page, to raise more money.
Kim, Ella and Lily wrapped the books and hand-delivered them to Tania Labriola, the teacher of the Pre-K class, on Aug. 14. The Singers’ chose to give their first donations to Labriola’s class because she does special celebrations for her students’ birthdays. Labriola’s duty is to hand out the wrapped books so that they are able to receive a present on their special day.
“This project is very important to me because I have always felt so special on my birthday and it fills my heart with joy to see their smiles. It gives me a sense of gratitude and appreciation towards my parents,” Ella said. “It makes me realize that I should not be taking things for granted.”
The Singers’ next site of donations will be at the Gulfstream Early Learning Center located in Hallandale Beach, Florida, which they have already started collecting donations for. Their goals for the future are to expand this project, donate to more classes, have volunteers partake in the book wrapping, receive more donations and raise awareness for such an overlooked cause.
“I’m so excited to continue to spread the gift of reading and provide kids with something to remember on their birthday. Our first classroom went very well; Ella and I are so excited to start supplying Gulfstream [Early Learning Center],” Lily said. “We are planning on getting enough books and toys to fulfill all the classes.”
If you or somebody that you know would like to find out more or donate to their project, you can visit the following websites: https://birthdaysandbooks.com/ , https://www.plumfund.com/charity-fundraising/birthdays-and-books and https://www.amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/2JFH1GPH5BDM4?ref_=wl_share&fbclid=IwAR10trz_ED2c7XXICZk93ZDo_dS11CR4bOH0OtQyLtBXtOxYF0F0M38cJvk.