"Children are our most valuable natural resource."
Herbert Hoover, 31st U.S. President
Provide meaningful celebrations that recognize the importance of birthdays for children living in the homeless community of Denver, reinforcing the need for children to feel special and celebrated regardless of their circumstances. It is our wish to add as many shelters in the Denver metro area as funding will allow.
Birthday Smiles began in June of 2009 by Risë Justice. The Birthday Smiles program provides memorable birthday parties for children living in homeless or protective shelters in the Denver metro area. The program recognizes the importance of a birthday in a child’s life and believes that the gift of a birthday celebration provides normalcy, joy and hope in these children’s otherwise unsettled lives.
With adequate funding and assistance, Birthday Smiles has been able to provide parties to the women and children of the The Gathering Place, the Colfax Community Network, the Blue Spruce and Alton Way facilities sponsored by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, and formerly the children of The Samaritan House.
Since inception, we have celebrated with over 1600 children at these locations. In addition to birthday parties, Birthday Smiles has taken on special projects such as summer carnivals at TGP and and obtained goods and services for the agencies served.
Countless volunteers and children’s entertainers donate their time and bring monthly joy to these deserving children. Each celebration includes presents for the birthday children that they have specifically requested. Cake, ice cream, drinks, decorations, small gifts for all children who attend and entertainment are provided at every party.
Inclusion: Embrace and celebrate the uniqueness of every child
Enthusiasm: Exhibit and encourage genuine joy and happiness through the celebrations of birthdays.
Openness: Seek out new opportunities to provide birthday parties to children who are experiencing homelessness and poverty in Denver with the flexibility that each venue requires.
**April 19th, 2011: Birthday Smiles has officially become a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization! Our current Tax Identification Number is 27-3667673
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. Her story was featured on February 4th and 5th on KUSA Channel 9 and KMTVD Channel 20. In addition, Birthday Smiles received a cash award and is featured on 9News.com. Watch the newscast below, and click HERE to see the full story on this wonderful achievement!