Barbers Hill High School Student Council members coordinated a project school-wide before Spring Break benefitting the Mont Belvieu Food Pantry. Students and staff gathered nearly 100 Birthday-in-a-Bag donations to benefit area children.  Student Council members left to right: Maverick Coleman, Jazmin Lipp, Ashland Caraway, Gerardo Bote, Allyssa Sobarzo, Jordan Guess, and Hope Merrill.

A community service project by Barbers Hill High School Student Council in February gained popularity after it reached out to clubs to sponsor “birthday bags.”

The effort resulted in not only clubs but also athletic teams, staff, and individual students donating nearly 100 birthday bags for the Mont Belvieu Food Pantry.

StuCo sponsor Jenn Locke and her assistant Victoria Hampton reached out to campus clubs in February and asked each one to sponsor a birthday-in-a-bag to donate to the pantry. The items requested were cake mix, frosting, candles, and decorations for one child’s birthday.

But the outpouring of birthday bags donated by students and staff included much more than the bare necessities of a birthday celebration. They also included paper goods, party hats, banners, silly string, guest favors, and balloons, among other items. Many bags were themed.

Student Council member Maverick Coleman, a junior, said, “I loved being able to unite all of the service and non-service organizations on campus for one cause – the children!”

Lisa Johnston, who serves as administrator of the popular “What’s going on in Mont Belvieu” Facebook page, was approached by Student Council sponsor Jenn Locke with the club’s idea for gathering the birthday bags. Johnston quickly offered to “run point” on the project benefitting the Food Pantry.

“Jenn and her husband met me at the church, and we unloaded TWO SUVs FULL of “Birthday in a Bag” gift bags,” said Johnston on her Facebook page. “I was expecting small bags... Actually, I don’t know what I was expecting, but NOT this. These bags aren’t just birthdays in a bag.  They are ‘Birthday Parties in a Bag.’  They have everything you’d need to throw a kiddo a birthday party!”

BH senior Student Council member Jett Wheelington said, “It made me happy knowing the children would get to truly experience a birthday party and get to feel special and celebrated on their day.”

School closures due to COVID-19 haven’t stopped the organization from implementing their next project, Virtual Dress Up Days. 

The Student Council is building unity and a sense of fun for students and staff in spite of social distancing by declaring dress-up themes such as Green for St. Patrick’s Day, and Hat Day on Thursday. Participants are encouraged to post a photo of their participation on Twitter, and tag #BHCoronacation for a chance to win a $25 gift card.

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