Acts of Kindness: Macaroni KID Publisher Hosts Toy Exchange

Pasadena, Md., publisher makes a difference in her community

By Macaroni KID February 13, 2023

Random Acts of Kindness Day is Feb. 17 but Laura McElwain Colquhoun's son has been celebrating all month. A calendar provided by his school gives him an idea of a simple act of kindness he can do each day.

"One of them that stuck with me is 'smile at a stranger,'" she says. "It's something that shows the smallest things can have the biggest impact."

Quinten has a good role model in his mother. 

Laura, the publisher of Macaroni KID Pasadena-Severna Park-Glen Burnie, Md., found a way to offer kindness to her community during the holidays: She partnered with her church to host a toy exchange.

Families were welcome to bring and take toys for free.

"There were so many people who were grateful," she says. "I heard from those who were really struggling and couldn't afford toys and this gave them a way to give their kids a special Christmas." 

The first event was so successful that she and her church organized a second event shortly after the first. All leftover toys were donated to a nonprofit.

Laura, her son, Quinten, and her husband, Wil.

Having a chance to help her community in such a meaningful way is one of the reasons Laura, a former Capitol Hill staffer, wanted to become a Macaroni KID publisher two years ago.

"It’s been my dream job," she says. "It’s everything I love. It's community engagement, writing, event organizing, and supporting local businesses. It was made for me."

What's next for this Macaroni KID publisher? She and her neighboring publishers are working together to host a Summer Camp Expo and Family Fun Day in mid-March. It's a chance to connect local camps with local families.

"I love that we are a community resource for events and businesses," she says. "I just love building those connections. It's been very rewarding."

We are proud of the ways Macaroni KID publishers like Laura McElwain Colquhoun are making an impact on their communities. Interested in finding out about joining our team and becoming a Macaroni KID publisher in your community? Get details at!