"Children are our most valuable natural resource."
Herbert Hoover, 31st U.S. President
It is estimated that 3,000 children make up 27% of the homeless population in Denver. Placed in these circumstances, many miss out on the milestones of childhood that every kid deserves and birthdays are among the most special in a child’s life. Birthday Smiles aims to provide a day of normalcy and joy to these kids in our community by throwing birthday celebrations for them.
The Latest and Greatest
Exciting news! As of April 19th, 2011, Birthday Smiles is an official 501(c)(3) organization! Not only does this help the organization gain extensive credibility in the communities where we work, but it also means that any financial donations that were provided in 2011 are now tax deductible! As always, we appreciate the help that everyone has provided us in so many ways, and hope that this status continues to encourage people to help these wonderful children.
February: Risë Justice, the founder of Birthday Smiles has been selected by Denver’s 9News for February’s winner of the 9Who Care award! This award is presented to outstanding volunteers of Colorado. Birthday Smiles received a cash award and is featured on 9News.com. Click HERE to see the full story on this wonderful achievement!
BIRTHDAY SMILES 2013 STARTS WITH NEW LOCATIONS
We have had a wonderful start this year and needed to update all my Party Animals on our new parties that we will be celebrating every month. I know a lot of you could not volunteer with us lately because all of our parties were on weekdays during the day. Now we have 2 every month in the evening, during the week, so check out the schedule and join us.
Colfax Community Network continues to warm our hearts and we celebrate the 2nd Friday of every month at 3PM. I owe a huge thank you to Mickie Archuleta, Jin Loehmeier, and Lisa Kutner (Look at those lovely ladies in the picture below) for keeping those parties running for 2 months while I took some personal time. This month we celebrated with 20 children (all of whom love Corn Dogs..go figure) and one birthday girl, Aleka, 10 (see picture). Her new Skechers, clothes and personal items put a grin as big as the room on her sweet face. Mickie brought the most wonderful craft. We personalized journals and explained to them all the wonderful and healing things that journals could contain. They really got into it and will bring them back next month to show us their progress. They get to have a wonderful activity, spell, practice writing and creativity. Can't ask for more than that. Also, check out the picture of Bibiana Aguila's beautiful family (and one on the way). Bibiana makes the most extraordinary cupcakes every month for us at CCN. She gets a big star on the Birthday Smiles Walk of Fame!
Birthday Smiles has realized some limitations, so in 2013 we will be at 2 new locations that will better fit our size and schedule. Starting this month we will be celebrating at The Comitis Crisis Center, www.comitis.org, This is a wonderful center in Aurora that houses families in crisis and has one of the few programs in the area that provides shelter for homeless female vets and their children. We are so excited to be partnering with them by providing 15-20 children a monthly birthday party.
In May we will start celebrating at The House of Hope - Family Tree, www.thefamilytree.org. Our monthly parties should include 15-20 children (do you notice a theme here?) One of our limitations has been volunteers for each party, so I had to make the call to serve facilities that I could handle with only 3 or 4 volunteers per party. That being said, I am looking for people that will consistently volunteer every month for 1 party, since finding volunteers for all of these locations is a full time job. Please look at the events page and if you need more info email me and we can talk. It is only a 2 hour commitment once a month, mostly evenings, so no job interference.
A final THANK YOU, to all of you who have contributed financially to Birthday Smiles these past few months. I am overwhelmed by your generosity and am breathing easier now because of you. Not only have you personally helped us, but you worked with your companies in matching gift programs and grants. We are one lucky non-profit to have you as friends. I thank you for your belief that every child deserves to be celebrated.