A local elementary student is planning her birthday with a unique celebration — one without cake, balloons or party favors.
Lily Davis, a fourth-grader at Rockcreek Elementary, turns 10 Thursday. But instead of throwing the normal birthday party with friends, she chose to complete 10 random acts of kindness this year.
The idea came a few years ago when her mother, Abby Carr, a Cummins employee, decided to do 29 kind deeds for her 29th birthday. Carr had heard about kind birthday deeds from a news article.
“I got the idea from reading an article online about a man in another state passing out 50 $5 bills for his 50th birthday,” Carr said. “I thought it was such a cool idea and wanted to do something similar.”
Story continues below gallery
The desire to help was contagious. After witnessing her mother’s acts of kindness, Lily created her own list — an event that was not surprising to her family.
“We see the sweetness and kindness from Lily regularly, so it’s just another example of what we already know about her,” Carr said.
Lily’s fourth-grade teacher, Krea Hill, also described her students as a “self-motivated learner” who “enjoys helping others and is always up for a good laugh.”
This isn’t Lily’s first time giving back to the community. In the past she has donated to Love Chapel, twice donated her hair to Locks of Love and volunteers each year at the Our Hospice of South Central Indiana concert with her grandmother.
For this particular set of good deeds, Lily’s hopes are that her birthday gifts will encourage others to join in and spread kindness and caring.
“It makes me feel happy and I hope that they will pay it forward,” Lily said. “I am excited, too, because it’ll be fun to do things for others.”
While not as large of a list as her mother’s — which included acts such as taking balloons to the cancer center, handing out 29 $5 bills and giving a Marsh gift card to a family in need — Lily’s list of 10 items seems generous.
For her birthday, Lily will:
Collect canned goods at Rockcreek for Love Chapel and deliver them
Leave money in random vending machines around town
Donate toys, games and stuffed animals to Turning Point
Write encouraging notes and leave them in random places around town to be found
Work at a hot meal site
Make cards and deliver them to a senior center or nursing home
Drop off a roll of quarters at a laundromat
Donate coloring books and crayons to the Columbus Regional Hospital pediatrics floor
Bake cookies and deliver them to the local fire stations
Volunteer at the Bartholomew County Humane Society
“I am most excited about donating canned food to Love Chapel because I am not the only one donating and my whole school can help me,” Lily said.
And help her they are. Rockcreek has fully supported Lily’s plans, according to Carr and Hill. The school has allowed her to set up and decorate boxes to gather canned food items and create posters to hand around the school reminding students to donate. She’s even addressed the school about donations during morning announcements.
Lily will do every one of her 10 acts of kindness on Thursday. And later in the week, she will get to go see “The Lego Batman Movie,” Carr said. Lily also will get to spend time with visiting family who are coming to celebrate her birthday and her brother Connor English’s birthday. Connor turned 12 Friday.
Lily hopes that those who benefit from her acts of kindness return the favor by helping someone else.
“There are a lot of unhappy people in the world, so if I do something nice for someone, hopefully they will pay it forward,” Lily said.
Family: Abby Carr, mother; Kyle Davis, father; Connor English, brother.
School: Rockcreek Elementary, fourth grade
Favorite subject: Language arts and writing. “Because I like to write stories.”
Favorite color: Orange
What she wants to be when she grows up: Police officer. “Because I want to save lives by getting bad drivers off the roads and sending away people who hurt others.”