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Elmira boy celebrating a birthday by helping others

Birthdays are a time for celebration, but during a pandemic, the option of getting together to mark the milestone is a challenge. Rather than keeping things to his immediate household, one Elmira boy has decided to run a food drive to share the joy on his special day. 

Looking to boost community engagement and support, Braydon Weber opted to collect food and cash donations to help those most in need.

Monica Weber says her son Braydon has had other friends that have done the same thing, which is where he got the inspiration for his sixth birthday.

“He’s been talking about that since the fall when he had a few friends do that, these food drive birthday parties and so on. He had just suggested that maybe he could do it.” 

The drive is being held in support of Woolwich Community Services’ food cupboard.  The team is open to donations of any kind, but there is a list of items that are needed more than others, one that includes canned pasta, Cheez Whiz, canned peas, canned carrots, shampoo, deodorant, laundry detergent, and toothpaste. 

Braydon hopes to see his friends stop by to help, as well as his extended family members.

Anyone who may want to stop by to say “happy birthday” can drop off a non-perishable food item, or perhaps drop something off directly to WCS, said Monica Weber, noting Braydon’s brothers will also be taking part.

This is the second time Braydon’s birthday plans have been altered due to the pandemic.

Last year, the family had plans for an event to mark his fifth birthday, but was forced to cancel.

“He had his birthday plan with friends, but it had to be cancelled because this was one of the first weeks of lockdown. So, we did promise him that once everything’s cleared out we would have a party with friends,” said Weber. 

This year’s celebratory food drive is set to take place this Sunday on Killdeer Drive in Elmira , from 1:30 to 3 p.m.

“We’re just hoping to fill up most of the back of our truck with some items,” she said, noting they’ve already received some donations from coworkers following some posts made on her Facebook and Instagram accounts, raising awareness for her son’s special day.

“Thank you for blessing people,” said Braydon.

This isn’t the first regional initiative the family has taken on. They also participated in this year’s Coldest Night of The Year, which raised $93,565 directly supporting WCS.

Social distancing measures will be in place for the party.

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