An Idaho mom is teaching her kids the importance of giving back with acts such as building and stocking a free food pantry for their community.

As KTVB reports, Macy Miller centers her two children’s birthdays on acts of kindness. For example, for her son Miles Hendon’s third birthday, they took $40 and recycled materials to build a Little Free Pantry for their neighborhood.

Screenshot/KTVB

Furthermore, for the toddler’s birthday party, the family asked guests to bring canned goods that they could stock the pantry with.

Miller explained:

“Birthdays are a time of giving, and we don’t need that much stuff. We don’t need the amount of gifts that we get, so we were trying to find ways to direct the kindness to where it was more needed. This year Miles wanted to build something. So that’s what we did for his third birthday.”

The pantry is located next to a community garden at 30th and Jordan streets, two blocks south of State Street in Boise, Idaho. Those in need are encouraged to modestly help themselves to what’s inside.

Miller said that the motto is:

“Take what you need, leave what you can. It’s just giving. Everyone’s got their times of need.”

The pantry is typically stocked with everything from canned food to baby supplies.

The mom of two said:

“When I go grocery shopping I take 20 bucks and fill the pantry and we just do as we can. We have two other ladies that come by and fill it.”

Furthermore, Miller said other locals also help fill the pantry.

She revealed:

“The kids’ dentist Blair Pediatrics donated hundreds of toothbrushes. So, it’s not just us doing it, it’s the whole community. We always try to put something fun in it, like I put water guns and color crayons in it.”

The family soon discovered that their project was actually really helping local residents.

Miller said:

“We find near the end of the month, it’s nearly always empty. It’s helping people and that’s great, we’ve never once had it taken advantage of. We just choose to trust people.”

The mom of two hopes these good deeds stick with her children when they are older and help make them better people.

She said:

“I hope it grows, and as they get older they will see what an impact they’ve made. To be kind to others and do what you can with what you have right now, whatever that is.”

Check out Little Free Pantry to find out more about the family’s efforts and how you can start your own pantry for your community.

About the author

I am a journalist from the D(M)V, who is just trying to make every day count.

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Mom Makes Kids’ Birthdays About Giving Back, Creates ‘Little Free Pantry’ for Those in Need

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