I don't think we ever outgrow the desire to celebrate our birthdays, even after we've long outgrown the desire to remember the number of them we've had! Every child should have special recognition on their birthday, because every child on this planet is precious.

But what is a birthday for a child, without a cake and a gift? Not much of one. That was why Mandi Simon (who was 7 years old at the time) founded the Simon Says Give organization. She wanted to make a difference in other children's lives. What better way to start, than to make a needy child's birthday a happy one. Maybe even a child who has never celebrated a birthday.

Here in Sioux Falls 13-year-old Nolan Fleming is the chapter president continuing that mission. This is the 3rd year for the "Cops vs. Kids FUN-draiser" , hosted by the Sioux Falls Simon Says Give South Dakota group and co-hosted by Giving Hope Inc.

Wednesday, August 15, from 5 to 8 PM at Burnside Bingo (1605 W. Burnside street), kids will be competing with law enforcement officers and firefighters in lots of fun games, activities and sports. There will be food available for purchase and everyone is invited to join the fun.

All you're asked to do is bring an item to go in a birthday bag for a child and to consider gifts in two categories:

Gifts of need:

  • Clothing - like coats, mittens, hats & scarves, (as we head toward winter), socks, underwear, pants, shirts, skirts, blouses, etc.
  • 3-in-1 body shampoo
  • Combs and brushes
  • Toothpaste and toothbrushes
  • School supplies

Gifts of fun:

  • Books, games, dolls, Legos, music & movie dvds, puzzles, action figures, stuffed animals, toys, etc. (anything a child would like).
  • Gift cards would also be greatly appreciated.

These birthday bags contain the ingredients for a birthday party, like cake mixes and frosting, some decorations, and of course the gifts which are donated. For many children in the Sioux Falls area, these wonderful "birthday bags" make their birthdays something to celebrate, which is how it should be.

Simon Says Give's ultimate goal is "to develop a generation of unstoppable leaders by impacting 2 million kids by 2022". You and your children can help this awesome kid-powered organization do just that, simply by joining the fun at what they're calling South Dakota's Largest Birthday Party!

For more information call Jennifer Fleming at 605-376-1308, go to Simon Says Give online or find them on Facebook.

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