Lauryn Stevens poses for a picture with Salvation Army of McLean County Captain Paul James after she donated a large box of gifts to Toys for Tots. (Photo courtesy Salvation Army)
By Eric Stock
BLOOMINGTON - Lauryn Stevens said she wanted to have a party to celebrate her 7th birthday on Nov. 11, but aside from that, she didn't really want anything.
That was the cue that Matt and Dawn Stevens needed to make their daughter's birthday more about giving then receiving.
The family decided, with Lauryn's approval, to have each guest of the party bring a cash donation for the McLean County Toys for Tots in lieu of a gift for Lauryn.
"We didn't need 25 more gifts coming in our household. Her dad and I usually like to do something for the community, so I just thought this would be a good cause," Dawn Stevens said.
The family has donated its time to the WJBC Brotherhood Tree and other charities in the past.
Party-goers gave about $250 in cash which the family used to buy enough gifts to fill a large Toys for Tots collection box. The family also collected $45 in checks to go directly to Toys for Tots.
Eric Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.