We hope that you had a special time this past Thanksgiving to celebrate all the things that you can be thankful for. Steffi and I spent the day with family, which now consists of lots of young children who got to play and be crazy together. We ate a tremendous amount of food, and still got to take enough leftovers to feed us for the entire weekend. We’re very fortunate to have so much to be thankful for.
November 28th 2017 is Giving Tuesday, the global giving movement that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday gives us all the opportunity to give back to our communities. This year is the 3rd Giving Tuesday event that Birthdays For All are participating in.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been less than 3 years since we started Birthdays For All. The idea was inspired by a series of articles from the Post and Courier about the state of foster care in South Carolina. The lack of foster parents led to more children being kept in group homes, and do not get enough individual attention to celebrate a birthday. We wanted to make sure every child got to celebrate their birthday.
At the time, the federal statistics showed that in 25% of foster children in South Carolina under the age of 13 were living in group homes, compared to the national average of 4%. Over the past 3 years, the situation has gotten worse. According to a recent article in the Post and Courier, the number of foster children in South Carolina has grown substantially in the past few years.
We know that the problem is incredibly complicated and won’t be solved overnight. But the simple joy of feeling special on your birthday is something we know we can and have achieved for hundreds of foster children. It was an honor to be recognized by an article about Birthdays For All in the Post and Courier earlier this year for what we’ve been doing.
On Giving Tuesday, we hope that you consider joining our own little movement to celebrate every foster child’s birthday in South Carolina. You can define your Giving Tuesday story by making a gift today.
Lowcountry Giving Day is here again! This is a special day for us because Birthdays For All was launched on Lowcountry Giving Day in 2015. We are still amazed about how much we have been able to accomplish in such a short space of time, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the community. We know first-hand what good can be achieve when people in the community get together to rally around a cause and have fun doing it.
Party Trends Delivered is a new party planning company and is launching today! For the first month of their launch (until August 17) they are donating 10% of all purchases to Birthdays For All. I met the founder of Party Trends Delivered, Rachael Allen, last year when she volunteered at a wrapping party. It turns out she has a passion for making children’s birthdays magical just like I do. Her passion led her to start Party Trends Delivered, a resource that provides themed party packages that are delivered right to your doorstep. Each package includes start to finish party supplies and themed decor that will surprise and delight guests of all ages.
Rachael wants to help people plan the perfect party and in the spirit of helping children have amazing birthdays she is donating 10% of every purchase until August 17th. I just finished throwing my son a pirate-themed birthday party and my daughter an emoji-themed birthday party (yay birthdays one week apart) so I know how much time it takes. I’m excited to use this service next year at party time, so that the hard work will be taken care of.
Party Trends Delivered also wants to be your perfect party planning resource. Their blog will provide practical, strategy-infused party hosting advice with a healthy dose of inspiration to keep you going when you get stuck or overwhelmed. Her free guide: A Busy Person’s Guide to the Perfect Party is a must read for anyone who needs to throw a party on limited time. It is jam packed with tools and resources so you go straight to what works, and don’t waste your time with what doesn’t.
Rachael has been planning and executing successful events for 10 years, she understand the challenges involved with planning even the smallest of events. She LOVES creating cohesive themed elements with a unique flair. And most importantly, she wants to help.
One of the best things that I’ve experienced with Birthdays For All is the collaboration with people in the local community to accomplish our mission. It can be a local business looking to give back, or a rockstar individual looking to do something special to benefit foster children on their birthdays. Of all the people who have helped us over these past two years (and there have been many), I can’t think of anyone who has supported us more from day one than Caleb Copper.
If you’ve been following Birthdays For All on any social media platform, you probably already know Caleb, or at least recognize him. He’s the tall, handsome dude, who looks like a cross between a young Clark Kent and Woody from Toy Story. He also does a good Where’s Waldo impression. In fact, you can play Where’s Caleb on this very website.
You would have seen him at a couple of our “very firsts”. He was there at our very first Wrapping Party when we didn’t know if anybody would show up. He volunteered at our very first Toy Drive event, where he and his buddy Sean, thought they had signed up for an hour, but it turned into a hectic, but amazingly fun 4 hours of face painting for hundreds of kids.
And now, Caleb has done another first, by hosting his own Wrapping Party at his birthday party at The Alley Charleston. Such an obvious idea in hindsight, but Caleb was the first to do it!
Caleb’s Wrapping Party Crew
On top of all that, Caleb was the first to use his own birthday to fundraise for Birthdays For All on Blackbaud’s EverydayHero platform. He originally set a goal of $500, but ambitiously increased it to $1000 just a few weeks before his birthday.
We owe Caleb a huge thanks for all that he has done for Birthdays For All during our short history. We wish him the happiest of birthdays, as we wish the same for all the children living in foster care right now.
People like Caleb are making a difference to their lives. If you’d like to help him SMASH his fundraising goal, head over to his personal fundraising page at Everyday Hero and wish him and the foster kids a happy birthday.
SOL Southwest Kitchen is a family-friendly establishment and are dedicated to giving back to the community with their Kitchen Karma program. From now until May 31 Sol Mount Pleasant has chosen Birthdays For All as their Kitchen Karma Charity. Over the next 6 weeks, every order of their mouth-watering Tuna Lollipops or amazing Blueberry Margaritas, will generate a donation that will help us get birthday presents for foster kids in South Carolina. There is no better way to feed your heart and soul this Spring!
We are so grateful they chose us as their Karma Kitchen Charity and we can’t wait to get to Sol!
Head over to Sol Mt. Pleasant, relax with a Blueberry Margarita and Tuna Lollipops…do it for the children!
A Birthdays For All wrapping party is a chance for friends to get together to create that special birthday moment. Most of us are fortunate enough to experience that moment many times throughout our lives. The drama of receiving a gift bag of presents, the anticipation of tearing apart the wrapping paper, and the excitement of the first reveal of something that you’ve always wanted…that is the experience we want to create with the help of our volunteers.
We are proud to say that we are making a difference to foster children across all of South Carolina, and it is truly due to the help and support from people in our community. People who believe that giving a little can have a huge impact on children who deserve so much more.
We hope to continue providing birthday cheer and expanding to cover more foster children in more group homes across the state. But we can only do so with your continued support.
Please consider giving to Birthdays For All on this Giving Tuesday! Make a donation you can feel good about. We are a 100% volunteer based organization, so 100% of your donations go straight to our cause.
It’s no secret that Steffi and I are huge Disney fans. In fact, just a couple of weeks ago we were on a Disney Cruise with our kids and got a heavy dose of Disney magic. It was such a joy seeing their faces light up whenever one of the characters was in sight. Disney are masters at creating those special experiences for the whole family. With each moment, I thought about how lucky we were to enjoy it together as a family. And how amazing it would be to give foster kids some Disney magic to brighten their special day?
This is exactly what we were able to do for one special child. Zach is in the Charleston County foster care system, but is staying at MUSC because he has a terminal illness. He has been told he has 3-6 months to live.
We asked our Facebook followers to pitch in to help pay for a ticket to Disney World and some spending money, and within a couple of days we had raised $800. Thanks to the kindness of our donors, Zach will be going to Disney!
And that’s not all…
We will be sending some foster kids to celebrate their birthday at the Disney On Ice performance of Dream Big at the North Charleston Coliseum this week! How amazing is that?! We were so excited when Disney got in touch with us to make this happen.
Here’s to hoping for more Disney collaborations in the future!
Michelle Knopp is a running enthusiast from Charleston, South Carolina. Maybe the label “enthusiast” doesn’t do her justice. So far in 2016, she has run in 25 races. That’s roughly 3 races a month! Most of them have been 5k races, but there have been a few 10k races in there too. She shares her experience of each race as well as her training and preparation methods on her blog.
In 2014, she was able to use her passion for running to help raise money for Miracle Feet to help treat children in the 3rd world born with clubfoot.
Earlier this year, Michelle reached out to us and shared her story and goals. After giving birth to her second daughter, Valerie, she was determined to get back in shape and back to her racing ways. I was excited to hear that she had signed up for the Rock N Roll Marathon in Savannah and is using it as an opportunity to fundraise for Birthdays For All.
So for the past 9 months, Michelle has been working hard preparing for the big race, whilst doing an absolutely stellar job of fundraising during the process. She has setup a fundraising page, and contacted many local businesses to donate prizes for a raffle, which she broadcasted on Facebook Live.
It’s been a real honor for Michelle to choose us as the nonprofit charity to support, especially with so many great nonprofit orgs out there in Charleston to choose from. Many of whom are much more well-known and well established. We’ve been so impressed by her initiative and fundraising skills.
With only a few days to go before the race, please show your support by donating to her fundraiser to reach her goal of $1500.
A few years ago, a couple of my good friends from Blackbaud decided to turn a bucket-list item into an opportunity to raise awareness for a cause. Ben German and Lucas Cobb always wanted to live the dream of exploring America by riding Harley Davidsons along Route 66. In 2014, they did just that and raised money for a nonprofit organization for wounded veterans. They called their adventure, Tour To Enable.
In 2015, Tour To Enable rode from Charleston to Boston to Key West and back to raise money for researching the cure to paralysis.
This year, they’re back. And this time they are enabling foster children in South Carolina to have incredible birthday presents by trekking across the state…with no engines! Ben and Lucas will be dropped in the middle of nowhere out of a plane, then they have to travel 200 miles back to Charleston on foot, bike, skates, kayaks, and probably whatever else they can find.