Linda Babin wanted to find a way to celebrate her husband, Brian’s, 80th birthday in September of 2020, despite the current pandemic. Under normal circumstances, they would have thrown a party and invited all their friends and family for such a momentous occasion. To adjust to the safety protocols, she had seen other families and friends do drive by celebrations and considered doing something similar. However, most of their family and friends live out of town.

Linda says she and her husband’s friends and family always look forward to special occasions to see what kind of card Brian had picked out for them. Therefore, she decided to turn one of her husband’s favorite hobbies of picking out cards for friends and family into her inspiration. She sent emails to organizations that Brian had been in, such as his college fraternity or Baton Rouge Kiwanis, as well as friends from church and family.

Linda informed them of the surprise she was working on for Brian’s 80th birthday celebration and asked they send a card or email to him on his birthday and in return, she would donate to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. For every card, contact or email that was received for his celebration, Linda donated $5 to the Food Bank, totaling out at $235. With the large community and family support, the Babins were able to donate the equivalent of up to 705 meals to those in need.

The first card came a few days before Brian’s birthday and Linda stated it was a “mystery” how this friend knew his birthday was approaching. On his birthday, Linda printed the emails she had sent and gave them to Brian. He stated, “it turned out in some respects even better than a real social gathering because it had multiple aspects to it which included a donation to one of our favorite organizations.”

Brian was able to communicate with people he hadn’t spoken to in years. He gathered a list of those that had contacted him in some way and started making phone calls until he was able to talk to each one of them. People who didn’t even know Brian had participated as well, like fraternity brothers from years later.

Thanks to Linda’s idea, Brian was able to have a birthday filled with social interaction despite the ongoing pandemic while donating to one of his favorite nonprofits. We are thankful for people like the Babins that think of new and unique ways to support the Food Bank during such trying times.

If you would like to learn more about donating during the pandemic, please click here or call 225-359-9940.