Feature Stories

MHS Service Club Donates 150 Birthday Gifts to Local Food Shelves

When Aileen Dosev, a freshman at MHS, started Service Club Imagine in February, her goal was to form a group to take action towards a better future. "The club is named after John Lennon's song 'Imagine,' which speaks of a better future for all people," shared Aileen. "The club has a primary focus on people. We focus on helping the homeless, hungry, and others needing shelter."

One of the group's first actions was to run a toy drive in partnership with Cheerful Givers at MHS, Minnetonka Middle School West and Excelsior Elementary in February. According to the organization's website, Cheerful Givers provides birthday gift bags through shelters and food shelves to economically-challenged parents so that they can give their child a birthday gift.

"I was honestly very surprised at the amount of support and enthusiasm I encountered from all the people I worked with and the people who donated," said Aileen. "I was only expecting we'd gather enough donations for 50 bags, but we ended up making three times that amount. About 1 in 9 children in Minnesota are living in poverty, so I'm glad that 150 of them will find some joy in the gifts they receive."

Aileen distributed the gifts to four food shelves and shelters. Service Club Imagine's donations will go to several different communities, including Waconia, Eagan, Eden Prairie and St. Paul.

"I've learned much by running this drive," shared Aileen. "It has helped me improve my leadership, organization, and communication skills. Most importantly, it's helped me realize how important acknowledging and celebrating a person's life is. Myself and others who can afford to have birthdays don't fully understand how much a present can do for a child's self esteem and confidence."

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