Mission: To provide birthday cheer for children experiencing homelessness and families in-need.
Results: Since inception in February 2012, Beverly's Birthdays has grown to serve over 10,000 children and families through partnerships with more than 50 agencies in 5 counties surrounding Pittsburgh, PA.
Target demographics: Children experiencing homelessness and families in-need
Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2015 alone we provided birthday experiences for over 5,000 children and families through our five (5) programs
Geographic areas served: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Programs: Birthday Parties: We host a celebration at the agency for children who have a birthday during that month/season. The guests are the other children in the program and their families (if applicable). The celebrations are staffed by volunteers and the parties include food, dessert, games/entertainment, and treat bags. Our birthday celebrations represent more than just a party. We believe that birthdays are an opportunity to wish a child a happy and healthy new year, and therefore all of our birthday celebrations expose the children to some type of enriching learning experience.
Birthday Presents: All of the children we serve receive a birthday cheer bin on their birthday. This bin is filled with gender and age appropriate gifts, which we can customize. All of our bins include a new book and a new toothbrush/toothpaste. A bin contains $40-$50 worth of items. We believe these extra items help reinforce a "“happy, healthy year…filled with cheer."
Itty Bitty Birthday Cheer: This program provides birthday cheer bins (filled with essential newborn items) for newborn babies. We also partner with agencies to provide group baby showers. Help support this program by purchasing an item off of our baby shower registry.
Classroom Cheer: In many classrooms it is an ongoing tradition for the students to bring a treat to share with their classmates on their birthdays. Families facing financial hardship may not have the means to provide this special experience for their children to share with peers. We work with schools to provide treat bags for qualified children to distribute to their peers on their birthday. In collaboration with The Education Partnership, we also provide teachers in elementary and primary schools throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region with their own Classroom Cheer Kit. This kit contains everything a teacher would need to celebrate their student's birthdays. The kits are filled based on the teacher’s roster.
Birthday-in-a-Bag: Pre-assembled bags filled with all of the necessary items to host a small birthday celebration (cake mix, frosting, plates, cups, napkins, party hats, etc.) to our agency partners that they can then distribute to families in-need. Primarily this program services families who are clients of community food banks. Our largest partners in this program are The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, the Washington County Food Bank, and the Westmoreland County Food Bank.
Professional with expertise in this field
I worked for the permanent housing program that Beverly's Birthdays approached to pilot their project. I was able to see, first-hand, the impact they had on the 50 children we had living there. Every week, kids would ask me if Beverly's was coming that night and would explode with excitement when the answer was yes. Many of the children in the program did not have the chance to celebrate their birthday the way "normal" children do. Beverly's Birthdays was the answer to a void that our organization alone could not fill.
As a provider, our job was to nurture the growth of the family unit. By celebrating a child's birthday, we saw a positive bonding experience between children and their parents and peers. It allowed each child to celebrate their own unique personality. Without Beverly's Birthdays, there would be 50 less children in the world untouched by Birthday Cheer! Bravo!
Professional with expertise in this field
I met Megs, the founder of Beverly's Birthdays, last year when she was establishing her organization and developing relationships within the homeless service provider community in and around Pittsburgh. Beverly's Birthdays has a compelling mission that is addressing a need that has gone unmet until now. Children in homeless situations face countless challenges on a daily basis; making time for celebration and joy is often lost in the intense struggle to secure housing, food and other basic needs. Beverly's Birthdays is to be commended for recognizing the incredible significance of such celebrations in the lives of children who are enduring tough times. This creative, passionate, fun-loving and responsible team is making such a difference and I am proud that our organizations are able to support each other's work with children and youth experiencing homelessness.
Beverly's Birthdays is a wonderful organization with big heart behind it! I am in awe by the passion, dedication and enthusiasm that founder Megs Yunn pours into Beverly's Birthdays. Beverly's Birthdays is there to make sure that children in need are celebrated on their most important day. Megs and her cheer squad don't just provide these children with birthday celebrations. They show these children that they are loved!