(KXNET) Sarah Fagerland is a parent on a mission, a mission to give as many kids as possible a special, memorable birthday.
“The needs there and people don’t realize it,” said Sarah Fagerland, Box of Balloons, Inc. – Minot, Chapter Leader. “They don’t see it on the street like in the bigger cities, but you know, the needs definitely here.”
And that’s where Box of Balloons comes in.
It’s a national, non-profit organization that provides those in need with a custom-made birthday box with all of the necessary birthday party supplies.
In May of this year, Sarah established her own chapter in Minot and received the first box request within two weeks.
“I was on the road to Bismarck and they needed it the next day and I’m like, ‘okay, that’s just kind of how things go for me.’ And we got it. We got it done the next day by noon,” Sarah said. “That box was dropped off.”
And the requests, which can only be made by social workers, community advocates, or school counselors, have continued to flow in.
“We’re just kind of slowly spreading throughout the community, which is good,” Sarah shared. “We want to be able to reach as many kids as we can.”
As a mom, Sarah knows how exciting a birthday can be for every child, and she also recognizes how difficult it can be for some families to give their child what they wish for, and deserve.
“I think a lot of people hear a Box of Balloons and think, ‘Oh, it’s just a box of balloons.’ But it’s so much more,” Sarah said. “I mean it’s that kid that gets that box, they feel that worth for the day. The parents, that’s that load off their shoulders to be able to provide that.”
So what exactly is in that box?
“Once we get a request, we fill a box full of party décor, tableware, a gift, a party game, party favors, and then a dozen cupcakes or cake, candles, and everything down to the tape to hang up the decorations,” Sarah explained.
And it’s all made possible by Sarah and a group of nearly 70 volunteers, with a consistent core group of about a dozen.
Sarah receives the request, sends an email to the volunteers, and they sign up to provide one or more of several items needed.
Once she has all of the goods, she packs them up and delivers the box, typically to the requesting agency.
“I think a lot of people, once they learn about it, are just as intrigued as I was with it,” Sarah said.
While it may just seem like a regular day to some, Sarah knows how magical a birthday celebration can be for a child who never expected it.
“Just to be able to give that to another child that just wouldn’t have it for at no fault of their own, is fantastic,” Sarah said.
Sarah says the Lions Club has been very generous, and Box of Balloons Minot recently received $5,000 from the North Dakota Community Foundation.
Visit Box of Balloons, Inc. – Minot if you’d like to join in the effort to help make a child’s birthday special, volunteers are always needed, as well as monetary and item donations.