Happy Birthday To Caleb

Happy Birthday Caleb

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!

Calebs wrapping party friends

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.

Wish Caleb a Happy Birthday!

Sol Mount Pleasant Kitchen Karma

Sol Kitchen Birthdays For All

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!

 

Wrapping Party Volunteer Crew

Birthdays For All Wrapping Party

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.

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Support Foster Children On Giving Tuesday

Volunteers at our wrapping party

Giving Tuesday is here! We cannot believe that this is our second year participating in this amazing global day of giving.

In the past two years (one and a half to be more precise) we have made 960 birthday wishes come true for local children! We have expanded our program from covering foster children in Charleston County to covering special needs foster children in Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties, children living at the CYDC, Windwood Farms Home for Children, the Jenkins Orphanage, Epworth Children’s Home and My Sister’s House.

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.

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Spreading Some Disney Magic

BFA collaborates with Disney On Ice

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!

Running Wanderlust

Michelle Knopp Running Wanderlust

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.

Michelle Knopp running in Charleston

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.

Michelle Knopp Raffle

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.

Support Michelle

Thank you and best of luck, Michelle!

Read more about Michelle on her blog: https://runningwanderlust.com/

Tour To Enable

Tour To Enable helping Birthdays For All

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.

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Meaningful Birthday Gifts

Lowcountry Parent Magazine

If you’re a parent and you live in the Lowcountry, then you read Lowcountry Parent magazine.

It’s what you do.

Lowcountry Parent Magazine Birthday Guide

Lowcountry Parent Magazine Birthday Guide

Lowcountry Parent is a free publication that you can pick up with the Post and Courier or in your local doctor or dentist office, as well as other community locations. Every issue is full of great ideas for things to do with your kids in the Lowcountry area.

The July edition is their birthday edition, which is full of articles about great birthday ideas for the summer. One article features Birthdays For All, and it’s all about making your kids birthday more meaningful by teaching them to give back to the community. In an interview with Steffi, she said “It is really important to me that my children learn that volunteering and helping others is important to us as a family”.

You can read the full article here on the Lowcountry Parent website.

If you would like to turn your child’s birthday into something more meaningful, you can request gifts to be made in honor of their birthday. The funds will be used to provide a foster child with awesome birthday presents.

Make an Honor Gift

Lowcountry Parent article

Lowcountry Parent article

PBS Newshour Agents For Change

Larisa Epatko, reporter from PBS Newshour, just published an amazing article about Birthdays For All and foster care in South Carolina. She reached out to us after doing some research of nonprofits in the Charleston area and we agreed to chat about what we do, and how we work with some of our favorite collaborators at the Carolina Youth Development Center and Department of Social Services.

The article she wrote is a fascinating look at the state of foster care in South Carolina and includes a few statistics that I wasn’t aware of before.

Did you know that the daily basic payment of foster parents in South Carolina is $11-14, whereas North Carolina’s payment is $15-20. Other states pay out even more, such as Tennessee, who payout $23-27. We learned from some commenters on the article that some states pay foster parents $50 for the child’s birthday, and $75 for christmas.

Please read the article to learn more

BFA-pbs-org-newshour

It was exciting to see us in between Donald Trump and President Obama. FYI – that is not where we fall on the political spectrum.

BFA in between Trump and Obama

 

Get Your Selfie on a Billboard

Creative Chatter, a local non-profit, reached out to us to see if we would be interested in having a Digital Selfie Billboard Fundraising Campaign for Birthdays For All. After googling to find out what that meant and reading this article on it from CNN we were enthusiastically on board, starting with making our own from our daughters first Birthday. Her words upon seeing it, “We’re famous now!!” Our sign says, “Celebrate Foster Kids! #BirthdaysForAll.org”

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You can create your own Digital Billboard Selfie and have it benefit Birthdays For All, Just hashtag the text on your billboard with Birthdays For All and 50% of the $25 will go to gifts for foster children. We can’t wait to see your digital selfies up on the billboard! They can be of anything you like but we love the ideas of birthday celebrations of all kinds, kids, adults and furbabies! We get photos of the billboards submitted with the Birthdays For All # and we will be posting them on our facebook page as well! Go HERE to get started!