CHICOPEE, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - Imagine not knowing when your birthday is and not being able to afford to celebrate it? 'Birthday Wishes' brings birthdays to homeless children and regional coordinator Jennifer Matoney and Eva Dion came onto Mass Appeal to share more.
MAKE A BIRTHDAY BOX
Our BIAB program is for safe shelters and other living facilities which cannot accommodate Birthday Wishes volunteers. Party supplies and gifts are carefully packaged within a wrapped birthday box for each birthday child, so they are able to celebrate their birthday with family and friends. All party supplies must be new, unused, and in original packaging. Everything should be contained in a box (with cover) that has been wrapped in birthday-themed wrapping paper (see photo below). When preparing boxes we ask that there be strict supervision. Please ensure each box has the exact items listed below. It is very time consuming for our staff when we receive boxes that are incomplete or not packaged properly. Please make sure the boxes are wrapped with care and taped appropriately. We ask that when donating a birthday box you wrap and pack the box as if it were for your own child's party.
BOX MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING:
- Cake Mix
- 1 Frosting
- 1 Disposable cake pan
- 1 Box of candles
- 1 Tablecloth
- 8 Juice boxes
- Small pack of plates
- Small pack of napkins
- Pack of spoons or forks
- Pack of party hats
- Decorations/Filler: streamers, balloons, blowers, masks, birthday banner, etc
- Extra Fun Items: stickers, jewelry, card games, etc.
- Please put a post-it note on your box that includes your name and the age/gender of the child you prepared the box for
- Birthday Gifts (optional): Provide 3-4 birthday gifts totaling approximately $40. Gifts should be age appropriate, new, unused and unwrapped.
About Birthday Wishes:
The mission of Birthday Wishes is to provide birthday parties for homeless children. We believe that all children, regardless of their living situation, should celebrate their birthdays joyfully, surrounded by family, friends, and others
who care. Our grassroots philosophy fosters the spirit of volunteerism and community service in the adults, children, and families who donate their time and resources to the Birthday Wishes mission.
Birthday Wishes brings the magic of a birthday party to thousands of homeless children each year. Founded in 2002 as a volunteer organization serving one local shelter, Birthday Wishes has expanded its program to serve more than 185 shelters and transitional living facilities in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Long Island, New York. In Western Mass, we serve Springfield, Holyoke, Westfield, Northampton, Amherst, Greenfield, and South Hadley. We have a variety of volunteer opportunities for young and old!
In addition to putting on parties on-site at area shelters, we also have a program called Birthday in a Box. Birthday boxes are created for children who live in 'safe' shelters, scattered sites, and other programs which cannot accommodate Birthday Wishes volunteers. This allows the parents to have a party for their child in the safety and comfort of their shelter.