"Hugs can do great amounts of good — especially for children."
Princess Diana, Princess of Wales
It is estimated that 3,000 children make up 27% of the homeless population in Denver. Placed in these circumstances, many miss out on the milestones of childhood that every kid deserves and birthdays are among the most special in a child’s life. Birthday Smiles aims to provide a day of normalcy and joy to these kids in our community by throwing birthday celebrations for them.
The Latest and Greatest
Exciting news! As of April 19th, 2011, Birthday Smiles is an official 501(c)(3) organization! Not only does this help the organization gain extensive credibility in the communities where we work, but it also means that any financial donations that were provided in 2011 are now tax deductible! As always, we appreciate the help that everyone has provided us in so many ways, and hope that this status continues to encourage people to help these wonderful children.
February: Risë Justice, the founder of Birthday Smiles has been selected by Denver’s 9News for February’s winner of the 9Who Care award! This award is presented to outstanding volunteers of Colorado. Birthday Smiles received a cash award and is featured on 9News.com. Click HERE to see the full story on this wonderful achievement!
2014 ended up as a banner year for Birthday Smiles, donations were fantastic, lead again by Northrop Grumman and Karen Gutierrez, the Fantastic Denver Cycle "Ladies", the Bradburn Triathalon, XCEL Energy and Christy Fish, Renee Statham/UPS, KUSA TV and Lynne Valencia, and so many individual donors that my heart is filled with gratitude. Aside from the monetary donations, we have been fortunate to have been the recipient of generous donations of party supplies, filled party bags, birthday banners, books, stuffed animals from so many wonderful groups, most of them involved children which puts a smile on my face every day.
Thank you to everyone, you have helped make birthday's special for over 1,000 children in 2014!
We continue to celebrate with The Colfax Community Network (thank you Jin, Mickie, Lisa and most recently Tamara, Ryland, and Maddie Boxer), Family Tree House of Hope (thank you Lisa...again!), and the Comitis Center (the Richburg family continues to spearhead this shelter for Birthday Smiles and Angela and family have done a fantastic job.) We might be looking at adding to this list, so if any of you know of worthy organizations, let me know.
Thank you all again for your continued support. Most of you have stuck with us for these past 5 years...Yes, 5! The number of homeless families with children has not gone down, if anything, has increased. The shelters are full, the need is great. We will continue to celebrate with all of our incredible and resilient children with your help.