By Nance Ebert, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – Birthdays. Everybody has one but it's how we choose to celebrate, or not, that differs from person to person.
For 8-year-old Shrewsbury resident Kiira Maloney, her birthday is not at all about the presents. In fact, this year, she has decided to forego receiving presents for her March 5? birthday and instead has asked for donations to Project Bread's Walk for Hunger. The programs funded by Project Bread help to provide meals for those in need.
“I love this event and me and my family have been doing it since I was born, although I didn's walk it then. I like helping other people and I get to help raise money for people that need food. I already helped to raise $1,125 dollars,” said Kiira, who is a student at the Calvin Coolidge Elementary School.
This year's event will take place Sunday, May 4, and over 40,000 people walk the 20-mile course through Greater Boston, beginning and ending at Boston Common.
Kiira's mother, Christine, started walking in 2000 with her dad and two sisters. Her father works at Raytheon, one of the sponsors for the walk.
Kiira, her parents, her younger sister, brother, grandparents, cousins and even her 9-month-old cousin, Autumn, will all be participating in this year's event.
“I do get tired and hungry when I am walking, but my mom brings a little red wagon and any time I need to I can hop in our wagon to take a rest. I also get to have ice cream,” Kiira said.
The day is all about giving back and spending time with family. This tradition helps to educate children to the idea of helping others.
“We really enjoy doing something that helps the community. It's very tiring but really fun. I think it's important to show by example. I's glad my dad, sisters and I started this tradition in 2000 and have participated each year since,” Christine said.
The Walk for Hunger takes the Maloney family between seven and eight hours to complete. They are excited for this upcoming event and are hoping for nice weather.
Anyone wishing to contribute the Maloneys” personal fundraising page can do so at
Anyone seeking additional information about the Project Bread Walk for Hunger may visit www.projectbread.org.