By Claudia Harmata
April 24, 2019
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Credit: Marlana Evans

Birthdays are a special occasion, and one 9-year-old girl from Kentucky wants to make sure they stay that way.

Two years ago, a classmate told Bella Smith — a third-grader at Wyan-Pine Grove Elementary School in Kentucky — that his family couldn't afford to have a birthday party for him, Smith's mom, Marlana Evans, told Good Morning America.

"The school she attends is a Title 1 school, which means 80 percent of the population here is impoverished," Evans, who also teaches at Bella's school, told GMA. "So we have students that struggle with a lot of things."

Credit: Marlana Evans
Credit: Marlana Evans

After hearing that her classmate wouldn't be able to celebrate his birthday, Bella took action and started her "Bella's Boxes" project.

The young student fills the "birthday boxes" with balloons, cake mix, icing and sprinkles — items that she receives through donations from community members. Bella even asked for donations instead of gifts on her own birthday last month.

"I thank God for the opportunity for letting me be able to shine my light and show that I love my neighbor," Bella told GMA about packing the boxes.

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Once the boxes are packed, she hands them out to families in need through her school's Family Resource Center. She has already packed 65 boxes this year alone.

"I'm extremely proud of her," Evans said. "She's a very good girl with a big heart."

This Story Originally Appeared On People