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Service project offers kids' birthday boxes

By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Volunteers at the Jana Mackey Day of Service on Sunday will be working to make a child's birthday a little brighter.

This year's project is wrapping shoe boxes that will be filled with birthday party supplies, said Sandi Grigoryan, project coordinator of the Center for Civic Leadership at Fort Hays State University.

Participants will be working at Chuck's Place in Wiest Hall at FHSU from 1 to 4 p.m.

The birthday boxes will be donated to Kansas Court Appointed Special Advocates. They will be distributed throughout the state to homes that might not be able to provide a party for a child.

"It's a chance to give someone something they didn't have," she said.

Members of Tigers in Service will be helping, and Grigoryan said community volunteers are asked to help wrap boxes to kick off the drive.

The shoe boxes were donated by local shoe stores, but birthday box supplies such as plates, cups, napkins, cake mixes, sprinkles or silly string are needed.

Drop off boxes will be located at the Center for Civic Leadership in Custer Hall, the Hays Welcome Center, Golden Belt Bank and Commerce Bank.

The drive will end April 1 with the Kansas Women's Leadership Conference.

Day of service volunteers also can pass out flyers in Hays and participate in a letter-writing campaign, Grigoryan said.

Mackey, the daughter of Curt and Christie Brungardt, professors of leadership studies at FHSU, died in July 2008 at the hands of an ex-boyfriend.

"She grew up here, and the community shows up and supports the cause," Grigoryan said.

This is the third year for the day of service meant to honor someone who spent her life advocating for women, she said.