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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Birthday Dreams

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services

Mission: Bringing joy and hope to homeless children with the gift of a birthday party

Results: Since 2009, Birthday Dreams has celebrated 7000 birthday children and add more every day.

Target demographics: Local area family homeless shelters and social workers that support homess families.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2017 celebrated 1202 children. 894 birthday-in-a-box and 308 in-site shelter parties

Geographic areas served: Birthday Dreams brings joy and hope with the gift of a birthday party to homeless children in Western Washington (Puget Sound area from Everett to Tacoma).

Programs: Birthday Dreams has celebrated 7000 kids and their friends and families. We deliver two types of parties, on-site shelter parties hosted for children and their families who are in shelter housing. We celebrate all the birthday children each month. We also offer a birthday-in-a-box parties provided to homeless families, so that they are able to have a real birthday like other children.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Chelsea M.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at 3 of Birthday Dream's birthday parties in and around the Seattle area. Everything they do and stand for brings children's dreams to life! Between Birthday Dreams and their volunteers, they provide birthday party fun (face painting, crafts, games, etc); cake, ice cream, and punch; and birthday presents for any child celebrating a birthday in that particular month. I grew up homeless and remember feeling left out around my birthday, knowing that my friends had the resources to celebrate their big day, but I did not. I have grown up to celebrate not only birthdays, but every holiday, to the absolute fullest, knowing that celebrations are a way to bring joy to anyone's life no matter their circumstances. Birthday Dreams does exactly this for many children who would otherwise go without a celebration on their birthday!

KParker

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Our residents have been the recipients of Birthday Dreams - Birthday in a Box services. Families coming from homelessness have so many issues and vulnerabilities, and not being able to provide a birthday for their child(ren) is such a blow to their self-esteem. Birthday Dreams has made it possible for parents to do something to honor and celebrate their children even when families are going through their toughest times. Laughter, feeling important and valued, being celebrated ... these are all things that heal families that are experiencing trauma ... and Birthday Dreams makes that happen. Thank you for your commitment to serving families. The smiles that you instigate are the things of dreams!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

My organization shared space with Birthday Dreams for several years, and I got to know them really well. They are an incredibly well-organized nonprofit that helps to restore self-esteem to homeless kids - one birthday party at a time. I'm amazed at their ability to multi-task, recruit volunteers and meet a growing need. They really do make a difference in the lives of kids whose lives have been upended by homelessness.

Pam Gehrig B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Birthday Dreams or 4 years now. I do many things at Birthday Dreams but my favorite by far is delivering a birthday box to a child. To see the huge smile on their little faces that someone cared to make their day special is the best feeling in the world.
Birthday Dreams makes this possible for them. It truly is an amazing nonprofit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I don't remember having birthday parties when I was young, but when I had my son birthday parties became a big deal. Seeing the kids together, smiles on their faces, playing games, opening presents, and eating cake filled my heart with joy. Now that he's grown, I've channeled my energy into Birthday Dreams (BD). Honestly, the idea that a child may not be celebrated on their birthday breaks my heart. BD fills that need - something to look forward to, one day to be special & let your cares and worries melt away. This org makes a difference one birthday smile at a time to the tune of 6900+ since its inception. I LOVE being part of such a great organization.

Stuart A.

Board Member

Rating: 5


When a family is experiencing a homeless situation, the pressures of dealing with all of that are all consuming. Often a child's birthday is overlooked. Birthday Dreams has shown me how important it is to a child in a homeless situation to be celebrated on their special day. I’ve volunteered at several group parties which Birthday Dreams puts on at various shelters, and have delivered the "Birthday in a Box" to many families. It is amazing to see the joy and hope in the eyes of those kids, feeling like they mean something in a world that might seem pretty crazy and confusing to them. Birthday Dreams makes a great effort to be very specific and intentional with the gifts they select for the children who are receiving a Birthday Party. They have volunteers that make themed cakes based on the child's wishes, volunteers making goodie bags, or wrapping gifts from the child's "wish" list and "needs" list. They have volunteer delivery drivers in different communities, and volunteer coordinators that help with group parties at shelters. An amazing effort is made by Birthday Dreams to assure these kids understand they are valuable and worth celebrating regardless of what hand they have been dealt. I can't say enough how impressed I am with Birthday Dreams and the overall scope of their organization, and how well they are able to do what they do! I am now one of the Board of Directors working along side a very talented group of accomplished individuals, working with passion to bring the gift of a birthday celebration to any child in a homeless situation.

Kimberly C.3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started volunteering with Birthday Dreams this summer and have attended two parties. Each time the kids have been radiating happiness. One of the girls we were celebrating this weekend was so excited to have the party and shared she had never had a birthday party before. The other little girl was so proud to show me her gifts and was very excited to be celebrate with her friends. Her mom told me she was incredibly thank full to Birthday Dreams for the gifts she wouldn't have been able to provide.

1 Maili B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I run one of the Birthday Parties held each month at a family shelter. I love seeing the kids! I love how they work together and out for each other. Birthday Dreams is an exciting moment and break for the kids/families and what they go through. I love how it is run very professionally but is able to be administered casually and comfortably. This organization make serving others easy and has so many opportunities to serve that there is something anyone can do, whether it's a one time thing, a regular thing once a month, something you can do from home or elsewhere.

Chaz S.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Birthday Dreams started in my garage. My wife and her best friend came up with this idea to support a local shelter and make sure that every kid there, got celebrated on their birthday. I thought that it was a great idea, but never expected what would happen next. Word got out and suddenly there were other shelters asking for their help. Donations started to come in and Birthday Dreams suddenly became a South Seattle charity. After a couple years, their reach expanded from Everett to Tacoma.

It has been amazing to watch this grow and to see how homeless children in the Puget Sound area have one less thing to worry about in the situation they must endure. To see how lasting an impact that this one act has on them. Eventually, I joined the Board and even served as Chair for three years. I got to see the inner working of a growing charity that has pinpointed a critical need for the children in our community.

Almost 10 years later, this group of amazing people and the hundreds of phenomenal volunteers and donors, have served just shy of 7000 children, boosting their self-esteem and raising their spirits at such a vulnerable time in their lives. If you are looking for a place to donate your time, talents, or funds, Birthday Dreams should be on top of your list. Even kids can give back and learn about community responsibility.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Birthday Dreams for over 5 years. I started volunteering to give back, only the opposite happened, it has given me more. So many wonderful children who just want to be kids, but their circumstances cause them to to worry about adult problems. It is amazing to see them be able to forget and just be a kid. Even if only just for one day. I love having a reason to play with them too. This charity has stolen my heart. Every child needs to be celebrated! It's more than just a birthday.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Birthday Dreams is small US based non-profit that provides birthday parties to homeless children in the local Western Puget Sound area. It amazes me how far a small charity can stretch their donation to provide everything a parent needs to provide a birthday for their child. In a world where so many families do not have enough money to make ends-meet. The children of a homeless family often burden the worries of an adult. They wonder why other kids/families have things they don't or can't have... No options, they just go without. We forget how important simple things, like having a childhood memory of your birthday, in your formative years, can help build a child's self-esteem. Along with providing the child a sense of joy, hope and dignity. It is a wonderful feeling to be able to give to charity that brings smiles and joy to thousands of homeless kids. #GivingTuesday allows all charities a chance for global recognition. Brining everyone together on one day to focus on giving back. When people and businesses join together to make a difference, the impact is greater, then they are on their own.

Review from #MyGivingStory

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Birthday Dreams is a wonderful non profit to volunteer and donate to. The 2 women who run it Chris and Shannon have a dream that every homeless child in the Seattle area needs to have a birthday celebration. They have spent last 4 years working to make this dream come true for more than 1400 children. Birthday Dreams averages 70 birthdays a month.
Please donate generoulsy and volunteer at this wonderful non profit.
Birthday Dreams "No child without a birthday".