Sonika Menon, a high school freshman, has always enjoyed the celebration her family creates for her birthday each year. Realizing that many children were less fortunate, she founded The Birthday Giving Program, a 501c3 non-profit, in May 2017. The organization provides children, teenagers, mentally/physically handicapped adults, and senior citizens with birthday gifts and parties.
Republic Bank’s Naperville branch recently held a box packing event to assist in the organization’s efforts. Participants prepared dozens of boxes for distribution. Items are donated by others or purchased by the organization.
“We want to make a difference, one person at a time,” expressed Sonika. “We give the children and adults a “party in a box” which may include snacks, juice boxes, a cake, candles, books, stuffed animals, paper plates, and much more.” Sonika hand delivers many of the boxes herself so that she may meet each recipient. In this short time the organization has already distributed 45 birthday boxes and 105 welcome boxes, for recipients who enter new communities.
“I met Sonika and was so impressed with her that I knew we needed to find a way to get involved. She has already accomplished so much, and it’s clear her passion for helping others will continue to grow and many more will benefit from her kindness,” noted Nicole Reeves, VP/Sales Manager at Republic Bank’s Naperville branch.
The Birthday Giving Program currently serves Naperville, Aurora, Joliet and Schaumburg, but Sonika plans to expand to other communities. Sonika’s cousin, Rinna Talwar, is the Founder of the Senior Citizen Division, just launched in August.
Pictured are Sonika (far right), her cousin and Republic Bank staff members.