Libraries join forces to throw birthday parties for foster children
Fremont Birchard Public Library and Bellevue Public Library help celebrate birthdays for young people in foster care and foster care by running campaigns for the Giving Birthdays organization.
The mission of Giving Birthdays is to offer young people in foster care or foster care the opportunity to celebrate their birthday and make a birthday wish. An entire birthday celebration is assembled, packaged, and then delivered to a young person in foster care or foster care.
This party in a box includes a birthday cake, candles, party plates, birthday favors and party decorations. Each is tailored to the child and their dreams, talents, career interests and wishes.
The Bellevue Public Library held an anniversary campaign and collected over 600 celebratory items for the organization. “Throughout February, Bellevue Library collected boxed birthday cakes, frostings, candles, party plates, napkins and happy birthday banners,” said Andrea Gibson, president and founder of Giving Birthdays.
Giving Birthdays began in 2021 as a program through the Sandusky County Young Professionals Group. In 2021, the organization found sponsors and raised funds to provide 53 birthday celebrations for youth in foster care and foster care in Sandusky County.
Giving Birthdays spun off into its own organization in early 2022 and expanded its reach to provide celebrations for young people in Sandusky County and Wood County. So far in 2022, the organization has already held 49 youth celebrations across the two counties.
“Most often children are placed in a house with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Many young people in foster care or foster care have never celebrated their birthday before, or eaten a piece of cake from a birthday party plate on their birthday,” Gibson shared. “We want to make sure every child knows they are so worthy of a celebration.”
The Birchard Library in Fremont will be holding a toy drive to benefit Giving Birthdays. Items can be for anyone between the ages of 1 and 21. Popular items include light-up toys, sensory toys, Barbies, LOL dolls, Legos, books, board games, action figures, craft kits, gift cards, merchandise beauty, bath towels and kitchen utensils. Any suitable item to place in a birthday party is welcome. The organization also needs bags, backpacks, and luggage that the recipient can use to carry their belongings in the future.
Those interested in donating items can drop them off at Birchard Public Library, 423 Croghan St, Fremont, during normal hours April 8-April 24.
For more information, email Andrea at [email protected] Monetary donations can be made to Giving Birthdays and mailed to PO Box 244 Clyde, 43410.