Posts filed under ‘Volunteer’

New Year announcements: name change and plans for new local facility

 (Charlotte, N.C., January 10, 2010) – Birthday Blessings, a volunteer-led nonprofit serving homeless children and families across the greater Charlotte region, is proud to kick off the new year with two major announcements.  In addition to a name change, plans are under way for the organization’s new headquarters located in Matthews, North Carolina. 

 A new year, a new name:  Effective January 10, 2011, Birthday Blessings will become Bright Blessings USA (“Birthdays and Beyond for Homeless Children”), a strategic decision by the organization and its Board of Directors with twofold purpose: To better convey the breadth of the nonprofit’s programs and services which have evolved significantly since its founding; and to provide a unique and trademarked brand for the planned official launch of the organization’s National Affiliate Network.   

 “It’s amazing to see how the Charlotte community has wrapped itself around this organization, helping it grow to where it is today,” says Amy Cervantes, volunteer executive director and co-founder.  “John and I are constantly humbled by how much Bright Blessings has expanded and how many lives are being impacted as a result.  Our community is truly remarkable.”

 Service to the community, by the community:  After operating at its current location for two years, thanks to the generosity of partial donated space by local nonprofit LifeSpan Services, Bright Blessings is preparing to move its headquarters to Matthews.  This spring the organization will open the doors to its new facility, The Giving Village, a concept inspired by the nonprofit’s founding goal of providing relevant, hands-on volunteer opportunities for children—and people of all ages—in a safe, comfortable and uplifting environment.   The nearly 4,000 square foot facility located at 608-A Matthews-Mint Hill Road will be home to the Bright Blessings programs and its supporting projects, and will host hundreds of volunteers and visitors monthly.  Each aspect of the organization and its program services will be brought to life in the form of a small town operated by its “villagers”—a community of volunteers.  Facility details and layout are available online at

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 Bright Blessings began in 2005 as a family service project created by Mint Hill couple Amy and John Cervantes as way to help children in need while fostering a love for volunteerism in their own young children.  In 2008, they incorporated their service venture as a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit, quickly expanding the organization’s programs and services.  Today, the programs of Bright Blessings reach more than 2,000 homeless children and families every year, thanks to success of its volunteer-led infrastructure and the many dedicated supporters and participants whose daily efforts help brighten the lives of children in need.   

For more information, go to

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January 10, 2011 at 6:51 am Leave a comment

Corporate Service Day for Shire Pharmaceuticals Regional Team

CHARLOTTE, NC  On Monday, the Regional Team from Shire Pharmaceuticals visited our office to donate toys, games and baby items.  They also spent the afternoon filling Party Packs and Blessing Bags for our Student Birthday program. Thank you so much for exchanging your office Christmas party for a day to help Birthday Blessings.


“On behalf of our team, I would like to sincerely ‘Thank You’ for providing us the opportunity to work with your organization. We had a wonderful time purchasing the items for the birthday and blessing bags, and delivering them to your office. We were truly moved by our tour of the Birthday Blessings facility and the opportunity to fill many birthday bags! Imagining those bags, which we helped to fill, being delivered to a child on their birthday and the emotions that may come along with that, made an incredible impact on all of us and we consider ourselves fortunate to work with such a wonderful organization.”

“Once again, thank you for organizing and opening your office to us (a day that it was closed, nonetheless!); it was absolutely a wonderful experience. We look forward to working with you again in the future. Please let us know if you need anything!”  Lauren Hudson – Shire Pharmaceuticals

December 8, 2010 at 3:07 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

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

Want to join our volunteer staff? Volunteer positions now available

CHARLOTTE, NC – Interested in joining our amazing volunteer “staff” of more than 30 individuals helping homeless children in our community? Check out these volunteer positions:

Project Coordinator – Community Support

This is a flexible volunteer position that can be performed from your location. The Project Coordinator will communicate with individuals and groups to help coordinate support projects for Birthday Blessings. Examples include collection drives or fundraising events organized by school and youth groups, faith-based groups, community social/civic groups, Girl/Boy Scout troops, neighborhood groups, and families. Read more about this position here.

Party Co-Coordinator

This is a flexible volunteer position that can be performed primarily from your location, in addition to attending one Birthday Blessings party at an area shelter each month. The Party Co-Coordinator will partner with a Lead Coordinator to plan and carry out one Birthday Blessings celebration for children and families at an emergency shelter or housing program each month. Attendance and participation at additional parties is optional. Read more about this position here.

Please contact Amy Cervantes, Volunteer Executive Director/Co-founder at

September 5, 2010 at 6:55 am Leave a comment

Philadelphia Presbyterian Church middle-schoolers volunteer at Birthday Blessings

CHARLOTTE, NC – On Tuesday, July 13, sixteen middle-schoolers from Philadelphia Presbyterian Church in Mint Hill embarked on their second annual M3 (Middle School Mission Madness) Retreat. With a slogan of  “It’s who we are. It’s what we do,” their goal was to serve as much as they could for the entire day.

As part of a full day of service — from sun up to sun down — the group’s day began with cleaning projects at their own church, followed by baking and bagging 400 brownies which they later served to the homeless while volunteering during lunch at the Urban Ministry Center.

Their final stop was at Birthday Blessings, for an afternoon of projects that included making favor bags, candy necklaces, and filling Blessing Bags with blankets and care essentials for children just like them, who just happened to be homeless.

When their parents picked them up after a full day of working hard, the group was tired, but excited about what they had accomplished and the difference they had made in a hurting world.

This was the second annual M3 summer mission project at Birthday Blessings, and we were grateful once again for their smiling faces, helping hands, and caring hearts. To each one of you, thanks for making a difference!

July 30, 2010 at 9:07 pm Leave a comment

Feel-good summer fun

With the dog days of summer in full swing, why not fill some of that time with fun and meaningful projects for the kids?  From the tried-and-true lemonade stands, to hosting a backyard GIVE-Together, to a “field trip” to the Birthday Blessings facility, plan a little feel-good fun for your family this summer and help your kids help homeless kids.

Some of our favorite ideas include:

  • ALL AGES:  Organize a gift collection drive at your neighborhood swim/tennis club
  • Tweens & Teens:  Host a “Bucks for Birthdays” Movie Night ($X donation includes pizza, popcorn and a movie at your home or neighborhood clubhouse)
  • Tots to Ten: Lemonade Stand (Always fun, always a winner!)
  • ADULTS/FAMILIES:  Cookout for a Cause / Block Party (Invite neighbors and friends for burgers and dogs; organize kid-friendly games & activities; request $X donation or have guests bring a new gift to help support Birthday Blessings)
  • ALL AGES: “Field Trip” to Birthday Blessings! Bring the kids—bring the neighbors’ kids—and come enjoy a tour of our facility, an up-close look at our “toy store,” and participate in a fun service project to benefit homeless children living in the greater Charlotte area.

Whatever you choose to do, we’d love to help!  Let us know what ideas you have and how we can help.

Here’s a link to our logo so you can customize your own neighborhood flier.  And make sure to post pictures on our FaceBook page!

June 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm Leave a comment

Busy month for Student Birthdays Program

CHARLOTTE, NC – As another school year comes to a close, our Student Birthdays Program volunteers worked hard last month to prepare and deliver party packages for both May and June birthdays for homeless students across CMS elementary and middle schools.

“It was a busy month, and we were blessed to have so many hands on deck to help,” says Terri Springer, volunteer program manager.  “Just in May alone, we helped over 40 homeless students celebrate their birthdays.”

This summer, our Student Birthdays Program will still be in full swing as Terri and her team of volunteers host parties for homeless students attending a local day camp.  These parties are held onsite at the camp for approximately 50 children, and of course the birthday guests of honor are recognized and celebrated.  Party games, crafts, and other special activities will accompany the traditional birthday cupcakes and juice, along with goodie bags for all of the kids.

Says Terri, “It’s incredibly rewarding to know that so many children who are going through such hard times will have a day to just be kids and enjoy their time in the spotlight.  It means more to them than any of us can truly realize.”

For more information about our Student Birthdays Program and how you can get involved, visit us online.

June 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

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