Girl collecting canned goods for birthday celebration


On the way to school one morning, Grace Mullins and her parents, Dustin and Kayla Mullins, discussed party ideas for her upcoming birthday.

Grace, who turns 9 on Feb. 13, said she wanted to do something for others since she has so much.

Kayla asked her what she thought about collecting food for those who need it. She said Grace lit up and said, “Yes!”

During her birthday party Feb. 17 at Confetti — The Social Venue in Seymour, people are invited to drop off nonperishable food items from 1 to 3 p.m. at Suite 214 at Shops at Seymour.

“I just feel bad for the people because they are in need, so I thought of giving canned goods,” said Grace, a third-grader at Seymour-Redding Elementary School.

People also can donate to Grace’s effort from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Confetti. The collection will be taken to Community Provisions of Jackson County.

“I want to get to 100 canned goods,” Grace said, adding she would happily accept much more than that.

Grace’s kind gesture doesn’t surprise her parents.

“Grace never ceases to amaze me when it comes to being generous,” Kayla said. “She truly has a passion for helping any way she can.”

Kayla said Grace volunteers in the nursery at their church each month and always takes an extra jacket to school just in case someone doesn’t bring one and needs it. She also raised money to help children’s charities when she won the Seymour Oktoberfest princess contest in the fall.

“The light inside her truly shines bright, and she realizes even though she is small, she is mighty and can make a difference for many,” Kayla said. “I could not be more proud of the young lady she has become and can’t wait to see what she accomplishes in her future. I hope she inspires many because she sure inspires me.”

Dustin said he and Kayla try to incorporate the thought of giving into their five children’s lives by the way they live.

“We have them really involved with our church, and our church family also helps us teach our kids that giving is really important, especially when you look back at your own life and see how much that you have,” Dustin said. “That just opens up the opportunities to give to people that don’t have so much.”

Dustin is equally proud of Grace, who is the oldest among the five children.

“It’s a really proud moment and humble moment for us,” he said. “For a child to be 8 years old and be that selfless is pretty amazing.”

Along with her ocean-themed party at Confetti, Grace plans to have a party at Girls Inc. of Jackson County.

“She realized she was having two parties, so she knows she’s going to get gifts from one of the parties, and she always tells us that she feels like she’s blessed to have as much as what she does have,” Dustin said.

Grace said she likes helping with various activities at her church, and her school also is collecting canned goods.

“It makes me feel really happy, because the other people that are in need get to have what they are in need of,” Grace said.

Chelsea Burrell, co-owner of Confetti, said when she learned Grace was collecting nonperishable food in lieu of gifts, she shared it on Confetti’s Facebook page in hopes that the community would help.

“I immediately knew that I needed to post it just because I wanted her to get the most,” Burrell said. “You’ve got a 9-year-old giving up birthday presents for canned goods, and I want the community to help with that.”

Knowing the Mullins children, Burrell said Grace’s kind act doesn’t surprise her.

“Grace is always on board with doing things that help other people, and she’s a great kid,” Burrell said. “Our heart for our community has grown since we started Confetti, and to see her do that just makes me happy.”

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Grace Mullins, a third-grader at Seymour-Redding Elementary School, turns 9 on Feb. 13.

In lieu of gifts at one of her birthday parties, she is collecting nonperishable food items to donate to Community Provisions of Jackson County.

People can donate to Grace’s effort from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Confetti — The Social Venue, 357 Tanger Blvd., Suite 214, at Shops at Seymour.

Then during her birthday party Feb. 17 at Confetti, people are invited to drop off nonperishable food items from 1 to 3 p.m.


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