A Manchester teenager accepts donations for her birthday instead of receiving gifts and was recently honored for the work she has done over the years.
Sara Hohenthal has been doing this practice since she was four years old and the Manchester Area Conference of Churches said her generosity has fed families for years.
"I didn't really understand what I was doing,” Hohenthal said. “But, as I grew up, I realized how important it was to help others and to give up what you have."
Ever since she can remember, Hohenthal said her birthday guests come to her parties, hauling bags of groceries.
Hohenthal has donated hundreds of pounds of food that has served dozens of families across Manchester and Bolton.
“She would come in and donate the food and I would let her stock the shelves with the food and she and her brother would come in with,” Dale Doll with the Manchester Area Conference of Churches said. "They had a lot of fun doing that."
The Manchester Area Conference of Churches is where Hohenthal has stocked most of her donations. The charity recently honored the East Catholic High School senior for her public service.
“I just though after all these years, all the birthday gifts she forwent to do these donations, I thought it would be nice to give her one last certificate,” Doll said.
Hohenthal said she hopes she can inspire young people to give back to their community. She now visits elementary schools to share the mantra that has guided her over the years.
"It makes me feel really good to give up part of myself to help others,” Hohenthal said.
If you're interested in learning more about throwing a birthday party centered around donations, Hohenthal and her family have a website with all kinds of tips and a list of food pantries around the country. To learn more, click here.
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