In celebration of the newest Magic Tree House book, Hurricane Heroes in Texas, we launched a search for hometown heroes across the country. We had so many amazing entries that we want to highlight a new hero every month!

Our first runner-up is Stephen Carkhuff! He is from Carlisle, Pennsylvania and his mom Colleen Carkhuff nominated him with a beautiful essay outlining his work with Project Share and Birthday in a Box.

Stephen’s Story

Stephen started volunteering at our local food bank, Project Share, as part of a school service project and his idea grew from there. He saw that they did not have enough seating on distribution days and even more important to him, most of the families served had young children that might not otherwise get a birthday celebration.

He wanted all of the kids served to feel that they are loved and special, so he started fund raising to create Birthday in a Box and bench seating for patron waiting. The Birthday Boxes all contained all decorations, party products, baking products and treats for a party. He even made sure that they had a small treat, toy, and gift card and each box was labeled with theme and or recommend gender/age. He also built wrought iron benches.

Stephen continue his involvement in the community through both the food bank and serving breakfast on the weekend at our community homeless shelter. He plans to still fundraise in community and through school and church to collect party products so he can keep his start up program going.