The Pickerington Public Library this month will play host to a party to celebrate attendees' "unbirthdays" and it will provide the makings to help those less fortunate to celebrate their birthdays with flair.

Borrowing from the concept offered by the Mad Hatter and others in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," the Sycamore Plaza branch staff members are taking time this month to celebrate the 364 days -- or 365 because this is a leap year -- that are not one's birthday.

They will hold a "Merry Unbirthday Party" from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday, March 24, at the library, 7861 Refugee Road.

"We're having a party and (library mascot) Violet is going to be there," said Colleen Bauman, the library's community engagement manager. "But we're also going to be collecting items for birthday bags." The bags would be donated to the Pickerington Food Pantry.

Bauman said the library's staff members try to incorporate lessons into their events.

As such, the library each quarter focuses on a portion of its overall mission to "inspire knowledge, connect community, enrich our world and read."

This quarter, the part of the mission being highlighted is "enrich our world." library officials said.

So officials are asking those who attend the Merry Unbirthday Party to bring a bag of items that could be used to contribute to a birthday party, including such things as cake mix, frosting, balloons, candles or party hats.

"At the library, we love to have parties because parties are fun, but we're also trying to meet our missions," Bauman said. "So we're partnering with the food pantry.

"It's a way to give back. Everyone wants a birthday party."

Whereas the library's mission and its various components help staff focus when planning events and programs, it also helps instill what Bauman said are good lessons about giving back to one's community.

Pickerington Food Pantry Director Vanessa Niekamp said the library was inspired to collect the birthday bags after a local Girl Scout troop held a similar collection.

Although the bags are not representative of more typical donations of perishable food items and monetary donations to purchase food and supplies, Niekamp said the pantry and its clients appreciate the library's support.

"We at the food pantry are grateful for any kind of thoughtfulness that anyone would extend to the food pantry," she said. "Our clients are always happy any time the community will share with them."

Additional information about the library's Merry Unbirthday Party is available at pickeringtonlibrary.org.

nellis@thisweeknews.com

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