"What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give."
P.D. James, Time to Be in Earnest
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!
Time flies when you are having fun, as evidenced by the date on this blog. Since we are coming up to the end of 2013, thought I better get some of this fun down in writing.
Birthday Smiles continues to enjoy 3 parties a month, 1 each at the Colfax Community Network, Comitis Center, and Family Tree House of Hope. Every month we celebrate with 75+ children and the birthday children get their little hearts desires. I always laugh at the birthday requests...unfortunately, puppies are not possible!
Thank you to the following people and organizations for keeping Birthday Smiles on their radar:
Sports Authority for $2,500 in gift cards (since a lot of the children want shoes and they are mighty expensive, this is so appreciated)
Jim Elliot Christian School for all of their handy work
The Richburg family for their continued adoption of the Comitis Center every month
CornerStone Christian Academy for the lovely posters to adorn some very plain walls
Max Davidson (Max the Magnificent) who entertains the children at CCN with his feats of magic
All of you who donate through your employer programs (yes, you Renee!)
Eliana Silver who makes us party bags just because she wants to
Smoky Hills United Methodist Church via Sharon Davis who donate from their huge hearts
Karen Gutierrez who amazes me every year with her generosity
As always,thanks Mickie Archuleta, Lisa Kutner, Jin Lohmeier for EVERYTHING!
Thanks to all of you who sent money to make these birthdays special for our kids.
Even though we are not having a huge Christmas party like last year, I can't tell you how helpful your toy drives have been to us throughout the year. To be able to pull from our "stash" of toys for the parties is a life saver. Your continued help in this area would be appreciated (I will put our most popular requests in the "Support Us" section).
The Denver Cycle "Ladies" will be honoring us again on 12/14, Saturday night, with their charity bingo at Hamburger Marys at 7PM. Come and join us for some fun and help support Birthday Smiles. This is the second time this year and I could not be more grateful.
Dates for 2014 will be put on the events page in December, so keep a look out.
Birthday Smiles is not big enough to be included in some of the major giving programs (Season to Share, Giving Guide etc.), don't get me started...... so I need to count on the continued support of our over 250 person base to get the word out. Thank you for all you do.
Have a wonderful holiday season and remember, the happiest people are those who help others.