Volunteers are needed to throw birthday parties for homeless children living in shelters. In Sacramento, each month the children who live in homeless shelters have birthdays, but their parents don’t have money to celebrate their children’s birthdays.
The families live together in homeless shelters set up for parents and children. Check out today’s, May 20, 2010 Sacramento Bee article, “Volunteer Spotlight,” by Cynthia Hubert. Also see the Sacramento Bee article, Student volunteers prove pivotal to Sacramento-area nonprofits.
The Volunteer Center of Sacramento has a program called “Birthday Magic” that brings parties to the children living in the homeless shelter. The “Birthday Magic” program provides cake, pizza, decorations, good bags, and entertainment.
How you can help is either by donating any amount of money or actually sponsoring a “Birthday Magic” party for $125. for full sponsorship. If this amount is not affordable to you, you can still be a volunteer and participate in making the parties. What can you do? Entertain? Help out at the parties? Dress up as a clown? Read a story?
Serve the food? How about arranging for a restaurant or commercial kitchen to bring in healthier food instead of cake and pizza — such as fresh fruit arranged like a tree or centerpiece? Can you entertain or do some storytelling? Are you a musician or music student who might volunteer to play or have a sing-a-long? Talk to the program coordinator. The email address is [email protected] or call (916) 567-3100, extension 119.
You can also organize birthday parties for homeless children in shelters by contacting the various volunteer groups that use student volunteers and provide the goodies that parents living at homeless shelters with their children could not afford. Sometimes, job contacts and leads for the parents could be made when volunteers bring party fare to homeless shelters where kids and their families are living until the parents can find work and a more permanent shelter.
The way to organize is to link up with the organizations that are looking out for the children. One example would be a catering service that offers to bring healthier food fare for the birthday parties.
Instead of cake and pizza, perhaps a tasty, but more healthy food fare might be arranged that includes fruit, a more nutritious main meal, and if a birthday cake, perhaps a treat made of raw food such as nuts, raisins, and fresh fruit or dehydrated fruit and sesame seeds, pistachio nuts, and walnuts rolled in almond butter.
There might be the possibility of a raw foods birthday party for the kids to introduce them to making healthier substitutions for traditional foods that are familiar, but not really that healthy. For example, could the birthday cake be made of frozen fruit and coconut milk instead of butter creme?
Whatever you want to volunteer, talk it over with the Volunteer Center of Sacramento. Perhaps you can organize a party, donate a hand-made gift, arrange for catered food to be donated, or be a storyteller. Maybe you can give an entertainment talk or serve the food. Whatever your interests, there’s a way to help a homeless family celebrate a child’s birthday whether you have money to sponsor a party or whether you’d like to contribute your time, creativity, or helping skills.