BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Back to school week is here as tens of thousands of students head back to the classroom. More than 40 local school districts have their first day of class on Tuesday with others starting throughout the week.

Some students will be going back to the classroom with a new backpack and supplies, all thanks to one of their neighbors. Macaiah Brundige, 10, celebrated her birthday on Monday. Instead of throwing a party where she receives gifts, she hosted a back to school giveaway for other local kids as they prepare to start the school year.

“Sometimes it’s just hard to get book bags these days, or you don’t know what to get. You don’t get papers that much, so I give them book bags for free to help the community,” Macaiah said.

While most 10-year-olds would want a birthday party to celebrate themselves, Macaiah hosted an event for the entire neighborhood. She collected backpacks and school supplies to hand out to students who need them. Her birthday party on Jefferson Ave. also had free food, a bounce house and other free items.

“I’m trying not to cry while you’re talking to me,” Macaiah’s father, Micheal, said. “For someone that young on their birthday to be wanting to do that when everyone else is about getting the gifts, even me on my birthday or Father’s Day, I want all the gifts. But for her to have that in her heart is special.”

Several students lined up to grab a bag, including Francesca Virella, 10, who starts fifth grade this week.

“A lot of the time I can’t really get a bunch of school supplies because of how many siblings I have,” Virella said. “They’re older, so it kind of makes it harder because they need more stuff.”

Isabel Van Dyne, 9, is starting fourth grade this week and says she has the best teacher this year. She says it was tough to find the exact school supplies she needed until Monday afternoon.

“We have some paper, coloring supplies, folders, erasers and stuff in the backpack,” Van Dyne said.

For Macaiah, it is about being there for others who need help, defining what it means to be from the City of Good Neighbors.

“I love my community and I just wanted to spread the awareness out,” Macaiah said. “If you help the community, they’ll help you.”

Macaiah hopes her event inspires other kids her age to help their communities as well. She encourages them to never give up.

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Tara Lynch is a Buffalo native and Emmy nominated reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2022. She previously worked at WETM in Elmira, N.Y., a sister station of News 4. You can follow Tara on Facebook and Twitter and find more of her work here.