A birthday party to collect gifts for others

SAGINAW – Nobody knew that Juliette Gordon Low’s entrance into the world 152 years ago would have such a profound and positive impact on the lives of girls all over the world.

Low’s ability to foresee the difference that women would make on a national and global level, will be celebrated October 20 during a birthday party in her honor in Midland. The event is the fourth of five events sponsored by Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the premier leadership organization for girls.

A nationally-known magician, nature walks, historical Girl Scout exhibits, a slew of hands-on craft activities and demonstrations, and a laser light tribute to Low are just a few of the choices participants may look forward during the party.

However, the festivities won’t be all about Low which is likely how she would have wanted it.

Michelle Holmes, Program Specialist in GSHOM’s Saginaw Regional office, said the organizing committee for the birthday party wanted to include a service project as a way to give back to the community. Cake and cupcake mixes, frosting, candles and birthday-themed paper products are among the items GSHOM is asking individuals to contribute.

The donations will be given to area shelters which don’t have money in their coffers for such-non-essential items.

But, non-essential doesn’t mean “not needed”, said Sister Marietta Fritz with the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, who is executive director of Emmaus House in Saginaw.

“This will definitely assist our women in enjoying another slice of life that they’re not used to celebrating such as birthdays and anniversaries and new accomplishments in their lives,” Sister Marietta said. “We don’t have money for this. We depend on what people give us.”

Emmaus House provides a stable environment for women who are released from jail or prison or alcohol and drug rehabilitation centers.

“Our purpose is to help women and provide them with shelter, clothes and transportation so they can care for themselves,” Sister Mareitta said, adding that the birthday items will go a long way to making life more enjoyable for women at the shelter.

In addition to Emmaus House, Holmes said the birthday goods also will be distributed to the Bay Area Women’s Center in Bay City, Eva’s Place in Sandusky, and Shelter, Inc. in Alpena.

Holmes said she’s hoping to collect at least 400 items.

“We want to tie this in with the general public,” Holmes said. “So if they come out that day we will have service project boxes at Northwood University and Chippewassee Park.”

For information about the birthday party or GSHOM logon to www.gshom.org or call 800-49SCOUT.