DEAR ABBY: This is the first time I have written, but I thought you might find this letter of interest.
When my daughter informed me more than a month ahead of time that she and her husband planned to give me a big 80th birthday celebration, I remembered a letter that appeared in your column several months ago, from a woman who requested that all of her "gifts" go to the local food bank.
Well, the party was a huge success. More than 70 guests attended, and 145 pounds of food and $137 in coins and checks were donated. My photograph appeared in the local paper and I received bouquets of flowers from the local flower shop and radio station -- with congratulations for having given my "birthday gifts" to the food bank!
What a wonderful feeling to know that I have helped the hungry through these very difficult times. It was so worthwhile.
It would make me very happy to hear that many others would do the same. Just sharing the occasion with my wonderful friends was present enough for me. -- HELEN IN OTTAWA, CANADA
DEAR HELEN: Congratulations on your 80th! May you celebrate many more and continue the spirit of giving. This letter may inspire others to celebrate their birthdays by encouraging others to give to those who are hungry.