Posts filed under ‘Grants’

Birthday Blessings receives grant from Speedway Children’s Charities

CHARLOTTE, NC     THANK YOU to Speedway Children’s Charities for their funding support of Birthday Blessings. 

Marcus Smith, speedway president and general manager, awarded the grants at this week’s kickoff of the speedway’s inaugural Carolina Christmas, a 2.5-mile drive-thru Christmas light park and village on the track and infield. 
John and Amy Cervantes were on hand to receive a generous check at the awards ceremony. 
Read more: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2010/11/27/1868632/across-the-region-the-latest-from.html
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December 3, 2010 at 1:38 am 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

Your vote is worth $20,000 to Birthday Blessings!

Click this logo and help us win $20,000! Please vote every day through September 29!

CHARLOTTE, NC – Have you heard our good news? Birthday Blessings’ logo is going to appear on NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson’s helmet in the Pepsi 400, PLUS we won a $10,000 grant! Read more about that here.

NASCAR driver Jimmie Johnson

But that’s not all … Now that the thirteen Samsung Helmet of Hope charities have been selected, one charity will have the opportunity to “Hope for More” and win an additional $20,000 through an online voting contest.

Your vote is worth $20,000! Please set up an automatic daily message reminder or make a note to cast your vote every day! 20 seconds. 20 days. $20,000. With your votes, it’s that simple.

Visit www.helmetofhope.org to vote for Birthday Blessings today and every day through September 29. With a little — no, A LOT — of help from our friends, WE CAN IMPACT SO MANY MORE HOMELESS CHILDREN!

September 8, 2010 at 7:11 pm 1 comment

Birthday Blessings wins $10K Jimmie Johnson Samsung Helmet of Hope grant

CHARLOTTE, NC – Thanks to nominations from loyal supporters and media friends, Birthday Blessings has been awarded a $10,000 Helmet of Hope grant from the Jimmie Johnson Foundation. Its logo will appear on Johnson’s helmet, along with 12 other Samsung Helmet of Hope grant recipients from across the country at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA, in October during the Pepsi 400.

Read the press release here.

The Samsung Helmet of Hope program was launched in 2008 as a way to give fans and members of the media across the country the opportunity to nominate their favorite charity to be featured on Johnson’s helmet for the Pepsi 400 race. It began as a way for Johnson and his wife, Chandra, to give back to charities who are giving so much to the communities they serve — a way to help boost those nonprofits’ efforts and bring them recognition at a nationwide level.

This is the first year that the program is awarding its selected charities with a $10,000 grant, thanks to the Foundation’s partnership with Samsung Hope for Children Program, a corporate-giving program that aligns athletes and retail partners to help children learn, live, and thrive. Birthday Blessings is one of seven Charlotte-based charities among more than 30 nationwide that have received a spot on the Samsung Helmet of Hope since 2008.

Birthday Blessings volunteer Terri Springer's nomination got the attention of the Jimmie Johnson Foundation

“We are so excited and grateful to be selected as a grant recipient through the Helmet of Hope initiative. Not only do we feel blessed to receive this generous donation and be featured on Jimmie’s helmet, but we are equally grateful to the many caring and dedicated supporters who nominated Birthday Blessings. Our volunteers are truly the heart of all that we do,” said volunteer executive director/co-founder, Amy Cervantes.

While the Jimmie Johnson Foundation received many nominations for Birthday Blessings, it was Terri Springer’s that sealed the deal.

Said Springer: “I started volunteering in 2008, and since I began, my family has been part of it, too. Logan, my 10-year-old, loves to go and help. He helps at some parties and watched as one boy blew out his candles. The boy didn’t know how to do it because he had never had candles on his cake before. Logan was very touched by that, and hopes that all children can celebrate their birthdays. The organization not only provides smiles, but gives the children a moment of normalcy in a time when it isn’t normal.”

September 5, 2010 at 5:29 pm 1 comment

Office Environments donates $8,175 worth of shelving to Gift of Literacy Library

Amy Cervantes, volunteer executive director/co-founder of Birthday Blessings, with Cindy Cox, president of Office Environments

CHARLOTTE, NC – Birthday Blessings received a gift of its own recently. Thanks to the generosity of Office Environments, a Charlotte-based business that donated shelving and installation services totaling $8,175, our Gift of Literacy Library Room is now professionally organized, with books displayed on tall and sturdy metal shelving units.

Birthday Blessings’ Gift of Literacy Library Room was established at the end of 2009, following the successful outcome of a grant application through the Charlotte chapter of First Book, a national organization that supplies new books to schools and organizations serving needy populations. This grant award enabled us to purchase over 4,000 new books to include with gift packages for the homeless children we serve.

The good fortune continued when Barnes & Noble – Morrison Place held a holiday book drive, and collected a total of 2,350 books from its customers in that same year, further boosting our goal of giving the gift of literacy to homeless children across the Charlotte region.

Gift of Literacy Library Room before the extreme makeover

But until recently, dozens and dozens of boxes filled with books consumed the small library room on plastic shelves and tables, and were stacked on the floor.

“Book accessibility was a challenge for our volunteers, as was our ability to keep the books organized in age-appropriate categories for easy distribution,” said volunteer executive director/co-founder, Amy Cervantes. “The day that Office Environments showed up and generously offered to step in and transform the room, we were beyond ecstatic!”

Within a week of their initial visit, a crew returned with beautiful shelving units, a large library cart, and a rolling library ladder. Soon after the installation, scores of Birthday Blessings volunteers set to work reorganizing the books and labeling shelves, a process that took several weeks to complete.

Said Office Environments president, Cindy Cox, “We are so happy to be able to help and to know what a great service Birthday Blessings provides to children who need our love.” Office Environments has been improving business environments with custom furniture products since 1984.

“With a national ratio of only one age-appropriate book for every 300 children living in poverty and 3,237 identified homeless children enrolled in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, we feel moved to put books into the hands of every child we serve,” said Cervantes. “Because of the generosity of Office Environments, First Book-Charlotte, and Barnes & Noble and its customers, we are now able to include two new books in every child’s birthday gift package and in every Blessing Basket we deliver to babies born into homelessness, and for that, we are so thankful.”

Once per quarter, Birthday Blessings also provides a new book to every child living at the shelters and housing facilities we serve as a special party favor along with traditional treat bags. In total, more than 3,500 new books will be distributed to homeless children each year through the programs of Birthday Blessings.

With thousands of homeless children served annually by Birthday Blessings, our all-volunteer nonprofit relies heavily on in-kind donations.

If you would like to add to our Gift of Literacy Library Room, new books can be dropped at our offices, located at 200 Clanton Rd. in Charlotte, or at our retail partners’ locations, which are listed here.

September 5, 2010 at 5:27 pm Leave a comment

Gift of Literacy Library Room dedication

CHARLOTTE, NC – Thanks to our friends at First Book-Charlotte and Barnes & Noble Morrison Place, we were recently blessed with  8,350 new books.  (Read the details here.)  We certainly need a place to put them, now, don’t we?

We will be dedicating our new library room to First Book-Charlotte and Barnes & Noble Morrison Place at the end of February.   We aim to include one new book in every birthday gift package and Blessing Basket provided to the homeless children we serve, while also providing books as party favors during special celebrations across the ten area shelters we currently serve.

If you would like to add to our growing library, new books can be dropped at our offices or at our retail partners’ locations.  Click here for details.

February 12, 2010 at 1:35 am 1 comment


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