SOUTHERN COLORADO — As a kid many of us remember how magical it was to celebrate birthdays, but not every child has the means to make it happen. However a local teen is hoping to change that.
Bethany Taullie, a 16-year-old at Swink Senior High, is filling up dozens of bags filled with birthday goodies and things like toys, books, puzzles, crafts, cake mix and ingredients. She's donating the birthday bags to local organizations, who will give the bags to kids in the Arkansas Valley community.
Taullie has been a part of girl scouts for about a dozen years, and the effort is part of her journey to earn a gold award. It's given to those who make a difference in their community. She came up with the idea for her project after she watched an old, at-home video when she turned six years old.
"I was watching how happy I was opening my presents, and this little birthday bear that I got, and a cake, and I realized some kids don't get to experience that," said Bethany.
Bethany got the word out about her effort by sharing a video of her project online, making an online gift registry, and placing donation boxes around town.
"All of a sudden, a bunch of boxes started coming to my door, and it was just crazy how many people in the community wanted to help me," said Bethany.
Thanks to the community's support, Bethany has been able to fill and donate about 100 bags. Her mom, Tracy, says she's put in nearly 100 of volunteering to make it happen.
"She's always doing something. Her love for helping people is just amazing and it shows all the time," said Tracy. "If she can just rub off a little bit on the generations now, and make them realize that sometimes helping others, it really makes you feel good inside too. It really does make a difference."
Bethany says she is expanding her effort to other nearby communities. She donated bags to Associated Charities, Manzanola Elementary and the Tri County Family Care Center.
"If anyone wants to get anything from my story, it would be that there is a significant joy in helping others," said Bethany. "I love helping people, and I love serving people through kindness."
For more information about Bethany's effort, click here.