A different kind of birthday

Reed City girl leads group trash pickup 

As a birthday present, seven year-old Addison Thorstenson, of Reed City, enlisted the help of her family for a recent trash pickup. (Courtesy photo)

As a birthday present, seven year-old Addison Thorstenson, of Reed City, enlisted the help of her family for a recent trash pickup. (Courtesy photo)

REED CITY -- When most children celebrate a birthday, visions of big parties with balloons, gifts and pageantry typically fill the minds of most people.

This was not the case when it comes to Reed City's Addison Thorstenson.

Instead of having the typical birthday celebrations, Thorstenson, who turned 7 years old last September, chose a route humble beyond her years.

After seeing all of the garbage and litter that's been piling up in the grass and bushes across the road from the Reed City Family Farm and Home store, Addison instantly knew how she wanted to spend her 2,555th day on planet Earth.

"I really wanted to pick up trash for my birthday," Addison Thorstenson said.

Addison's mother, Chandra, said her daughter initially wanted to get out and do a group tidy-up for her birthday last year, but the onset of COVID-19 made it more dream than reality.

"It's been her birthday wish the last couple of years to pick up garbage," Chandra Thorstenson said.

Addison wasn't the only one to make the grass look clean once again; her aunt, grandmother, brother, sister and a few cousins also took part, along with a lone passerby who caught wind of the project and decided to pitch in.

With a full team cleanup effort firing on all cylinders, Thorstenson and company filled nine bags of garbage in just over an hour, negating months worth of neglect.

Addison said she thought it was "pretty cool" to have all the help and support while making the area an overall cleaner place.

"COVID kind of made it so we couldn't go do a whole ton (of cleaning) her last birthday," Chandra Thorstenson said. "For her birthday, she wanted people to go pick up garbage and take pictures of it after, so that she could see everything that was getting done."

News of the garbage pickup quickly spread online, particularly once photos of the cleanup were uploaded to the Facebook group, Let's Talk Reed City.

In less than a week since the post was made, it has accumulated more than 160 positive interactions, 79 comments and nine people have shared it on their profile.

Each year on her birthday moving forward, Addison said she plans on continuing her pickup efforts.