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Barnes & Noble holiday book and toy drive to support local homeless kids, Nov. 1-Dec. 31

4020 Sharon Road Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, NC – For the second year in a row, Barnes & Noble – Morrison Place in SouthPark is holding a holiday book and toy drive to support the homeless children served by Birthday Blessings!

As a result of the generosity of Barnes & Noble and its customers last holiday season, we were blessed with 2,350 books to fill our new Gift of Literacy Library Room.

With thousands of homeless children served annually by Birthday Blessings, our all-volunteer nonprofit relies heavily on in-kind donations. As you’re doing your holiday shopping, we hope you will stop by Barnes & Noble – Morrison Place November 1 through December 31 to purchase and donate a book or toy that we will pass on to the homeless children we serve.

Thanks for your support!

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November 1, 2010 at 10:49 am Leave a comment

Stuff-the-Stockings holiday event and family service project, Nov. 14

Youth volunteers enjoyed stuffing stockings for homeless children at our Stuff-the-Stockings Holiday event in December 2009.

Check out the stocking wish list here.

CHARLOTTE, NC –  Before you stuff your turkey, come stuff the stockings at our third annual holiday event and family service project on November 14 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Cornwell Center in Myers Park at 2001 Selwyn Avenue.

Every December at Birthday Blessings’ shelter parties, hundreds of homeless children are surprised with holiday stockings and winter wonderland bags stuffed with treats in lieu of our traditional party goodie bags. Last year, more than 300 stockings and holiday treat bags brought excitement and joy to needy kids in the greater Charlotte area. This December, we’ll need 400 for homeless children across the 14 facilities and programs that we now serve.

You bring the stuffers; we’ll provide the stockings!

(From left to right) Jen with MomsCharlotte and Kiran with Little Ones Magazine adorned balloon creations courtesy of Mister Twister.

Please join us at our very own Santa’s Workshop for an afternoon of holiday fun and a festive opportunity for your family to work together on behalf of homeless children during the holiday season of giving. Event festivities include our signature Stuff-the-Stockings family service project, a bounce house, arts and crafts, cookie decorating, holiday face painting, balloons, and fun activities to get your kids moving, as well as refreshments for both kids and adults.

Event sponsors include The Charlotte Observer/MomsCharlotte, Little Ones Magazine, the Cornwell CenterFamily Dollar, Your Event Source, BJ’s Wholesale Club, AllRecipes.com, KidzArt, Children’s Party Plus, and Mister Twister.

Check out the stocking wish list here.

October 3, 2010 at 11:00 am 1 comment

Silent auction items and volunteers needed for March 2011 gala

CHARLOTTE, NC – We are in the planning stages for our third annual fundraising gala planned for March 2011, and we need your help to make this another successful event! We are looking for energetic volunteers to be a part of our fun and fabulous event team and assist with the following:

  • Silent auction donations
  • Auction and event displays
  • Event logistics

Also, we are in search of the following items for the silent auction:

  • Wine-tasting basket
  • Cooking/baking basket
  • Pamper-yourself basket
  • Lego basket
  • Kids sports basket
  • Kids book basket
  • Movie night basket
  • Tickets to sporting games/events

If you have items you would like to donate or you are interested in sponsoring a basket, please drop them by the Birthday Blessings office at 200 Clanton Road in Charlotte or contact 2011 Gala Co-Chairs Marni Eisner at marni@birthdayblessings.org or Mandy Ravin at mandy@birthdayblessings.org for pick-up. If you would like to serve as a volunteer to make this annual fundraising event a success, please drop Marni or Mandy an email.

Thanks for your support!

October 3, 2010 at 8:56 am Leave a comment

Introducing Deborah Truesdale, a new member of our volunteer staff

Deborah Truesdale, volunteer coordinator for Blessing Baskets Program

CHARLOTTE, NC – Birthday Blessings would like to welcome Deborah Truesdale as its new Blessings Baskets Program Coordinator.  Deborah is a Charlotte native who has always adored children.  She recently retired from AT&T after nearly 31 years of service.  Deborah first read about Birthday Blessings in the Charlotte Observer around the time of its founding in 2005. Since then, she has read many of the articles written about Birthday Blessings, including the one in Reader’s Digest in February.

“I decided I wanted to see what Birthday Blessings was all about,” said Deborah, who was particularly touched by the Blessing Baskets program.  She whole heartedly supports all the programs of the organization, and the importance of helping others in need.

She began her role this month as the coordinator for our Blessings Baskets Program, which helps celebrate and support the arrival of homeless babies by providing baskets filled with food, clothing, books, and comfort and care essentials. These baskets not only support the critical needs of babies born into homelessness, but they also bring hope to needy mothers while encouraging a positive mother-child bond during these early stages of development.

Welcome to the Birthday Blessings team, Deborah!  We thank you for your commitment and support.

If you want to contact Deborah about our Blessing Baskets Program, email her at deb@birthdayblessings.org.

October 2, 2010 at 7:55 pm Leave a comment

Turning Point of Union County parties with Birthday Blessings volunteers

Mary Kay consultants Crystal Coxton and Janet Warthen (from left to right)

MONROE, NC – On September 18, Birthday Blessings celebrated with the children and mothers staying at Turning Point of Union County, a facility that provides safe shelter to victims of domestic violence and their dependent children, while they learn how to break free from their abuser.

This celebration was a happy day of birthday festivities!  The children enjoyed traditional party fun of blowing bubbles, games, and arts and craft activities with Birthday Blessings volunteers, while their mothers enjoyed some much-needed pampering.

Adopt-a-Party group volunteers Crystal Coxton and Janet Warthen, Mary Kay consultants, brightened the days of the women by treating them to facials and makeovers.  “This feels so good,” said pregnant Alexis* after her day of beauty was complete. “I have never felt so good a day in my life.”

Olive Garden in Pineville was kind enough to donate lasagna, salad, and breaksticks, and the group also enjoyed pizza.  It was definitely appreciated, especially by those eating for two! And what party would be complete without birthday cake! Everyone enjoyed a giant cupcake-shaped cake surrounded by mini cupcakes provided by multi-talented Janet, who also owns and operates Smooth Creations Cakes.

Veteran Birthday Blessings volunteer party coordinator CJ Sammonds was there to brighten the day, as always.  The children (and adults) are drawn to her, said one of the staff members at Turning Point. She was shocked that a particular 3-year-old “smarty pants” took to CJ so quickly, as it usually takes much longer for the little girl to take a liking to people.  What a blessing!

It was another great day for Birthday Blessings and the children and families we serve.

*Alexis’ name has been changed for purposes of safety and privacy.

October 2, 2010 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

Thanks for being our champion! A message from Volunteer Executive Director & Co-Founder, Amy Cervantes

CHARLOTTE, NC – We were blown away by all the support we received from you in our “Hope for More” race to win $20,000 from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation/Samsung Helmet of Hope Program.

We are so thankful to already have been awarded $10,000 from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation as a result of nominations from our loyal fans, and having our logo appear on Jimmie Johnson’s helmet at the Pepsi 400 is icing on the birthday cake! Be sure to tune in on October 10 at 3 p.m. on ESPN to watch Jimmie championing our cause on his Helmet of Hope.

Our heartfelt congratulations go out to the two winning charities, Cookies for Kids Cancer and the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. Cookies for Kids Cancer raises funding and awareness for pediatric cancer research, and the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation raises funding and awareness for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, which is the leading genetic killer of infants and young children. These are deserving and timely wins, as September is National Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month and Gwendolyn Strong celebrated her third birthday on October 4, just days after this big announcement was made. We offer our congratulations and thanks for all that these amazing charities do.

Birthday Blessings is honored to have been selected to participate in this nationwide program, and we thank each and every one of our loyal supporters for voting. With your support, our uplifting programs–offering educational and enrichment support and providing critical-care needs–continue to impact thousands of homeless children and families each year. Together, we are making a positive difference by showing each child in need that our community loves them and cares for their well being.

The enthusiasm and generous spirits of our supporters are at the heart of everything we do at Birthday Blessings. Thank you for championing our cause!

October 2, 2010 at 2:32 pm Leave a comment

Retail partners needed

With a four-county service region and scores of individuals and groups supporting Birthday Blessings with gift and supply donations, we are in search of retail partners in Concord, Monroe, Fort Mill, and Rock Hill that can serve as  donation collection sites. If you own a retail business in one of these areas, please consider partnering with us!

Please contact us at contact@birthdayblessings.org if your business is interested.

Many thanks to our Charlotte retail partners for their continued support!   Learning Express (Charlotte and Huntersville), Toys & Co., Bedford Falls Toys and Books, and belly elan maternity boutique.

October 2, 2010 at 1:47 pm Leave a comment

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