Alison Dowler may be, in her words, “just a mum doing this to help out,” but we think that she’s making the world a better place with her efforts. Since February of 2017, Alison has shipped 42 of her “birthday boxes,” to families in Nunavut who would otherwise have trouble holding a party to celebrate their children’s birthdays.
For many residents of Nunuvut, an important family celebration like having a child’s birthday party can sometimes be challenging – supplies such as cake mixes, party hats and balloons can be nearly impossible to find or even sometimes prohibitively expensive. That’s where The Northern Birthday Box Project steps in to help. Described by Alison as “a movement of mums” from across Canada, the Facebook group pairs families who want to help out with families who need help.
“Being a mum who likes planning birthday parties for my own kids, when I saw this group I thought how tough it would be to not be able to have a birthday party for my kids, either due to lack of availability or even not being able to afford it,” says Alison.
She goes on, “I spend $60 per box. This includes the $19 to mail it to Nunavut as well as cake mix, frosting, food colouring, jelly mix, sprinkles, 4 tooth brushes, decorations, plates, cups a table cloth and napkins (in the theme or colour of the child’s choice.) In Nunavut these items are quite expensive and not always available. A cake mix would cost around ten dollars, food colouring is about fifteen dollars and pre-made frosting can be twelve to fifteen dollars.”
“I rather think we take for granted the fact that living where we live, we can round up everything we need for a birthday in ten minutes and for around ten dollars.”
We salute Alison and other the other members of The Northern Birthday Box Project and we acknowledge your awesome contribution for providing a way for Canadians to help other Canadians. (We love this project so much that we have sponsored Alison for ten boxes.)
Want to help Alison on her mission? Reach out to her via her Facebook group, Birthday Box Group.
Want to get involved in the action? Join The Northern Birthday Box Project and whenever you’re ready, the admins will match you up with a family you can sponsor.