How you can help
We need volunteers for all aspects of running birthday parties. It is important for our volunteers to understand that everything they do for us makes an equally important impact and that the needs of the children we serve come before anything else.
Regardless of how you choose to participate, your help will ensure that a homeless child experiences a joyful birthday. Here are the ways you can help:
- Donate and Volunteer at a Party: The first week of every month we list all of our birthday parties on the Party Schedule page of our website. Sign up online to donate a gift, party supply, or bake a cake. Donations are dropped off at one of our Birthday Wishes offices or with the Party Coordinator. Donations are not dropped off at the shelter. In order to volunteer at a party you must find a shelter that has a "donate volunteer" slot available. All student volunteers must be in grade 5 or higher. Please note, if you are signing up to donate or volunteer at a party that is less than 48 hours away, the Coordinator may not have sufficient time to confirm your attendance. We ask that anyone interested in donating or volunteering at a party submit their information at least 3 days in advance of the party date. Check out our Party Schedule and sign up now!
- Create a Birthday Box: Birthday boxes are created for children who live in ‘safe’ shelters, scattered sites, and other programs which cannot accommodate Birthday Wishes volunteers. This allows the parents to have a party for their child in the safety and comfort of their shelter. Visit our Birthday Box Guidelines page to find out more.
- Host a Goody Bag Stuffing Party: Host
a fun, team-building event with your friends, troop, colleagues or family. We
will provide you with easy guidelines to hold a goody bag stuffing party
in the comfort of your school, home or office. We are especially in need of goody bags for toddlers! Visit our Goody Bag Guidelines page for more information.
- Be a Luminary Night Ambassador: On Sunday, December 2, neighborhoods throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island will celebrate Birthday Wishes Luminary Night by lighting luminaries on their front walkways at 5pm. Serve as a Luminary Ambassador by selling luminary kits in your neighborhood. We will give you everything you need to make it easy and fun! You can also help by coordinating and distributing Luminary Night flyers to your school. For more information please contact Courtney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Volunteer Driver: We are always
looking for volunteer drivers to help deliver birthday boxes to our
shelters in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. This is an easy way to gain
volunteer hours in your spare time!
- Fundraising and Supply Drives: Host a toy or party supply drive, car wash, or bake sale. Items we are always in need of include: toys for babies under 2 years old, solid color tablecloths, juice boxes, sports equipment (footballs, basketballs, soccer balls), popular teenage gifts, gifts cards to Target, GameStop, and Old Navy.
- Become a Party Coordinator: Volunteer
to run one party a month at a shelter in your area. This position
requires approximately 5 hours a month and responsibilities include
emailing and coordinating with your shelter and party donors, coming
into one of our offices to pick up party supplies, and running the 60-90
minute party. This is a great opportunity for families, scout troops,
church groups, etc. Learn more about this unique volunteer position.
- Throw a Birthday Wishes Birthday Party: An impressively growing number of young people are choosing to support Birthday Wishes as the "theme" of their birthday parties. In lieu of gifts, have party guests bring in items from our wish list. When you bring in your donations we will take a picture of the birthday child for our newsletter. This is an activity which our future philanthropists can really relate to!
To learn more about Birthday Wishes volunteer opportunities, please contact Courtney Vernadakis.
Bring Birthday Wishes to your Community
We are excited and grateful that so many individuals and organizations share our enthusiasm for bringing the joy of a birthday party celebration to homeless children.
We are currently serving more than 10,000 children living in 165 homeless facilities primarily throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Long Island, New York.
Our goal is to provide birthday parties to all homeless children in Massachusetts and to make our model available to homeless family programs nationwide. If you represent an existing 501c3 nonprofit organization and would like to consider a partnership with Birthday Wishes, please contact Susan Haviland.
Corporate Volunteer Opportunities
- Sponsor a Shelter
Your company can provide a birthday party to every child in a shelter of your choice for a whole year! With a $5,000 tax-deductible donation you'll not only put a smile on many children's faces, but you'll also be featured as a corporate partner in Candle Lights, the Birthday Wishes e-Newsletter, as well as on our website and in all other promotional material we produce. You'll also receive regular party updates and pictures so you can see first-hand the children whose lives you've made an impact on. Please download and print this donation form.
Beyond sponsoring a shelter there a number of other ways your company can support homeless children in Massachusetts.
- Adopt a Shelter
This program pairs local shelters with companies willing to make a volunteer commitment and act as a Party Coordinator for a specific shelter. Participating companies commit to throwing one birthday party per month at "their" shelter. Anywhere from 4-6 volunteers are needed for each party and individual employees can volunteer as their schedule allows. Since the program is so flexible, they can even get their families involved. Parties take place on weeknight evenings – right after work. Party supplies can either be donated by the participating company, or picked up at the Birthday Wishes warehouse. Training and ongoing support is provided by Birthday Wishes. This is a great way for your employees to contribute to the community in a very tangible way while simultaneously bonding and team building.
- Contribute professional services; Birthday Wishes welcomes PR, Financial, Printing, or any other service than can help us help grow
- Donate Party Supplies; we go through a lot of juice, goody-bags, cakes & snacks, helium & balloons, Polaroid film, and piñatas, etc.
Companies who donate or participate in any of our corporate sponsorship programs are featured on the Birthday Wishes website and in our e-Newsletter, CandleLights. Please contact Lisa Vasiloff for information on becoming a corporate partner.