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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Cheerful Givers

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Emergency Assistance, Gift Distribution, Human Services

Mission: We believe birthday celebrations instill self-esteem and strengthen family bonds. We empower economically disadvantaged families by offering toy-filled gift bags as a means of celebrating their child''s birthday.

Results: Since we began in 1994, we have provided toy-filled birthday gift bags to more than 900,000 less fortunate children, but the need to do more is great!

Target demographics: We serve economically disadvantaged children between the ages of 3-12.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 179,000 children received birthday bags in 2014

Programs: We address an unmet need which allows economically disadvantaged parents a way to recognize their child's birthday with a gift. Toy-filled birthday gift bags are assembled by thousands of volunteers (including teens with disabilities and the elderly) and are distributed at shelters and food shelves so that less fortunate parents can give their child a birthday gift.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Cheerful Givers not only makes a difference for those who are the recipients of the "Birthday Bags", but also those individuals and groups that give of their time and energy in putting together these special bags. I have been impressed with how Cheerful Givers has invited individuals with special-needs to participate in filling the Birthday Bags (usually as part of their school program and/or job training). For many of these individuals, filling the Birthday Bags is their first success in learning important job skills - and life skills as well. I have watched my young adult son, who has Autism, develop self-confidence and self-determination by taking on the responsibility of organizing and filling the Birthday Bags. He absolutely loves Cheerful Givers and is so proud of being a part of helping others. With great enthusiasm my son will say to me "Cheerful Givers is Jordan's job!" His involvement in Cheerful Givers has given him a real sense of accomplishment and has provided important job skills. Cheerful Givers touches the lives of both those who receive and those who participate as the Giver. As my son likes to say, "I love Cheerful Givers!" And his mom does too...!


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Great cause with a great leader (Karen) to facilitate the project. Easy for groups to gather and pack birthday bags for less fortunate children. Not sure about small groups, but for big groups they can bring a packing event to you! Particularly like that this is a dual purpose charity - supports both those with mental disabilities in the charity work and children in poverty as recipients of birthday gifts. Would recommend to all event coordinators.

1 Be the Star You Are!®

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cheerful Givers embodies the imperative values of generosity, thoughtfulness, and kindness in its mission to make sure that children are remembered on their birthdays. I have had the privilege of collaborating with their enormously talented and dedicated President, Karen Kitchell, for several years, a woman who cares deeply about her volunteers and organization. Cheerful Givers is a first class charity and I am grateful for all that I have learned from their example of giving.
Cynthia Brian,
Executive Director of Be the Star You Are!® 501 c3

Comments ( 1 )


cheerful 03/30/2015

Thanks so much, Cynthia, for sharing your thoughts and tremendous support of Cheerful Givers!

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It has been an honor to watch the growth of Cheerful Givers over the years under the expert guidance of President Karen Kitchell. The dedication to giving children a very happy birthday goes above and beyond greatness. Cheerful Givers is my role model for how a charity needs to function.

1 Rita Y.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cheerful Givers is a wonderful organization. They make it happen! Cheerful Givers staff and volunteers are personable and professional - they encourage and motivate companies and individuals to get involved: pack birthday bags, do a drive to gather crayons or books, provide a space for a packing event, deliver bags to food shelves - and more!

I have been present when a child has opened their birthday gift bag - it is wonderful. The child's smile is eclipsed only by the parents', as they are grateful they have a lovely, cheery, fun gift for their child this birthday.

1 Cynthia B.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Cheerful Givers is a charity that everyone needs to support. President Karen Kitchel manages the organization with vision, compassion, and energetic involvement. For many years, the charity I founded, Be the Star You Are!® has donated books to the birthday bags. When we see the delight on the children's faces when they receive their gifts, we only wish we could help out with much more. Cheerful Giver's deserves to be recognized for the support and empowerment they give to the moms, caregivers, and of course, the children.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been aware of Cheerful Givers for numerous years. They are very important to our local shelters. They also allow volunteerism to be experienced by young and old. They are always CHEERFUL!