Something to Celebrate

With their daughter Lena celebrating her 1st birthday last August, Maya and Paul Buono wanted to do something special. They decided to throw their daughter a birthday party and invite all of their friends and family to help celebrate. As they started planning, Maya and Paul had an interesting thought: why not use their daughter’s birthday as an opportunity to do some good and help?  

“Lena has everything she could possibly ask for,” says Maya. “We just wanted it to be a celebration.  So we decided to ask our friends and family to do something different.” After doing some research, the Buonos selected CUMAC to be the beneficiary of Lena’s birthday party. On the invitations they wrote, “All Lina needs is love. Please make a donation in lieu of a gift.”  They weren’t sure what to expect, but they were excited about the idea. 

On the big day there were plenty of friends and family, delicious food and even a musician playing songs for the party, which they dubbedLenapalooza. Maya and Paul set up a large collection jar at their home, covered in photos and information from CUMAC’s website, and hoped for the best. 

In the middle of the party Maya made an announcement to thank their guests and asked them to give what they could to help CUMAC fight hunger. Their guests responded in a big way — Lenapalooza raised nearly $400 for CUMAC. Maya and Paul were thrilled. 

“When you see so many people giving, it’s a good feeling. There are so many others that could use it,” said Maya, "everyone thought it was a great idea." For Maya and Paul, tackling an issue as large as hunger seemed overwhelming, but their actions show that we can all make a difference in our own way. “How do you help so many people in need? I guess you start small," says Maya. "If we all do something it can grow into something bigger.” We couldn’t agree with her more. The combined support of Lena’s family will ensure that CUMAC can feed hundreds of families in the weeks ahead and for that we are grateful. 

We’d like to send a huge CUMAC thank you to the Buono family for helping us fight hunger this month! Your creativity, kindness, and compassion are truly an inspiration.