Elise Castle stands with food items she collected from friends and family on her 11th birthday, Nov. 21. (Contributed photo)

Elise Castle stands with food items she collected from friends and family on her 11th birthday, Nov. 21. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey girl, 11, celebrates birthday by hosting food drive

Elise Castle, 11, said she wanted to help people in need

With COVID-19 sidelining her ability to host a traditional birthday party this year, 11-year-old Elise Castle decided to instead collect non-perishable food items for the South Surrey/White Rock Food Bank.

Elise, from South Surrey, celebrated her birthday Nov. 21 by driving around town with her mother Lisa Castle to collect food from friends and family.

Lisa told Peace Arch News Sunday that she put out a call to her Facebook friends, asking if they wanted to participate. More than 20 people agreed.

“I kind of suggested it for something to do because she couldn’t do a normal celebration,” Lisa said. “She’s done lots of different fundraisers in the past at her school and just within the community. I thought this might be something she’d like to do.”

The Chantrell Creek Elementary student said she was initially let down that she couldn’t have a party, but seemed happy to organize a food drive instead.

“At first it wasn’t the happiest thing, but now I feel like it’s fine because it’s just for one time that I won’t really have a birthday party and I can have one next time,” Elise said.

“I just wanted to help people who are in need of basic needs that they don’t have. Since of what’s happening in the world, we can’t really have a birthday party but it’s still a safe idea to help some people.”

Lisa said they have not yet delivered the items to the food bank, but intend to do so this week.