Birthday girl requests food bank donation as gift

Foodbank trustee Liz Kilpatrick thanks Holly. Picture: Alexander Lawrie
Foodbank trustee Liz Kilpatrick thanks Holly. Picture: Alexander Lawrie
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MOST little girls celebrating their seventh birthday look forward to ripping open presents to reveal the latest Barbie doll or One Direction album.

But when youngster Holly Monteith was asked what she would like for her upcoming birthday, she surprised her mum by announcing she did not want any presents.

Instead, the primary two pupil asked all her friends to forget buying her the latest gadget and instead donate cans and packets to their local food bank.

On Sunday, Holly stayed true to her word and, along with her party guests, helped deliver enough food to supply 134 meals to those who are required to use the bank.

Mum Ellen, from 
Prestonpans, revealed she was “so proud” of her kind-hearted daughter for “thinking of those less fortunate” than themselves.

Around 20 children turned up to Prestonpans Community Centre to help Holly celebrate her birthday but instead of gift-wrapped pressies, the kids were all carrying bags packed full of essential foods to donate to the East Lothian Foodbank.

And community-minded Holly admitted she did not miss the new gifts that most children receive on their big day.

Holly, who attends Prestonpans Infant School, said: “My mum had organised a wee party for me and my friends but I told her I just wanted to help the poor people.

“I didn’t really want loads of presents – I just wanted to help families who haven’t got as much as we have.”

Proud mum Ellen has admitted she was surprised at her daughter’s selfless act despite the kind youngster organising a similar event last year.

For her sixth birthday little Holly organised a fun day at her local community centre where all donations, instead of presents, were handed over to two charities.

Ellen, a support worker, added: “I am so proud of Holly for wanting to help people in her local community.

“She is really selfless little girl and this just typifies how she approaches life.

“Of course I wanted to buy her lots of gifts and I thought this year she might want more for herself – but she was quite adamant that everything would be going to the food bank. She said she had everything she could ever wish for and wanted to take this opportunity to give something back.”

Peter Dicker, East Lothian Foodbank project manager, said he was delighted at young Holly’s contribution to her local community.

He said: “We are really pleased that someone as young as Holly is aware of the plight of some of her local community.

“There is a real food crisis for some families going on all across the country and East Lothian is no different.

“It is a totally selfless act that Holly has carried out and we are really grateful for her generosity.

“The food donated will go towards helping the people of East Lothian who find themselves in need of the aid.”