by TaLeiza Calloway
For many people a birthday can be a day where it is all about them.
Some might throw a big party or even request lavish gifts.
None of that interests Kenzie Finken. On her eighth birthday – celebrated Feb. 7 – she didn’t think of herself only but of those less fortunate.
The second-grader at St. Joseph Lab School asked her friends to help her celebrate turning 8 by giving money to the St. Joseph Food Shelf in lieu of birthday gifts this year.
On Feb. 23, she and fellow classmate Max Meyer delivered $175 to the food shelf and a few food items. Finken was aiming to raise $100, so when she exceeded her goal, she was all smiles. So was her mother Tanya Finken, owner of Kay’s Kitchen in St. Joseph.
Tanya was not at all surprised by her daughter’s request.
“It didn’t really shock me because she’s always asking to give to that organization,” Tanya said. “She’s always been a very caretaker personality.”
Finken said the parents of Kenzie’s friends were very supportive of the idea and thought it was a pretty cool gesture. She is proud her daughter is always thinking beyond her own wants.
Kenzie said she has been donating items to the food shelf since she was in kindergarten. Her entire school collects items year-round, she said with a smile. For her, the idea of helping people brings her joy.
“It makes me happy I was able to do it (raise money),” Kenzie said. “It kind of made me feel good about it.”