Fall 2017

Birthday Smiles continues to Party with our four Partners; Colfax Community Network, Family Tree House of Hope, Comitis Crisis Center, and Access Housing. So far this year we have celebrated with over 900 children, with 80 birthdays among those children.  The birthday lists we get from these children are heartwarming and to see the joy on their faces when they get those special gifts and the gratitude from their parents always sends us home knowing we are doing some very important work. As one little girl, 9 Yr old Amanda, said "This is the best day of my whole life".

We will continue to try and make all of these children feel special and loved. With the end of the year ahead and knowing that most of our funding comes around the holidays, I encourage all of you to keep Birthday Smiles in your giving circle. Like I have always said, it does not take a lot to keep us going since we are a 100% volunteer organization, but like any nonprofit, fundraising is key to our success. Gifts, and these wonderful parties are expensive, and you, as a community have always helped us to achieve our goal. My heart is full every day with the most wonderful, generous people who support us.  So, this Holiday Season, please let the companies you work for know about Birthday Smiles, most all of them have a Christmas giving program, and I believe ours is a compelling story. Over 9,500 children since 2009 have been the recipient of all the kindness and generosity we can give them, help us continue to do that.

Thank you to all my volunteers, donors, and all the people that drop supplies at my house to make these parties as special as they are.  You are amazing!

Party On

Rise Justice/ Director

 

HAPPY 2017

Birthday Smiles ended 2016 in it's usual grand manner. The parties during the Holidays, starting with Halloween, always take on a extra layer of fun. Halloween at the Colfax Community Network was particularly awesome. We provided costumes again this year for all the kiddos and face painting by Adriana and Angie. I have never seen a larger group of joyous children at one time. What an extraordinary time they all had.  Angela Richburg continues to spearhead the parties at Comitis and Access Housing each and every month. That is some crazy shopping she has to do.  Speaking of crazy shopping, we had 7 birthdays in Nov. at CCN, out of 25 children. I thought that was statistically impossible, but guess not!

I like to start each year with gratitude. 2016 was an amazing year to be grateful for. My consistent and wonderful volunteers, who show up every month; Mickie and Rich, Jin, Ann and Angela, could not have done any of this without you.  The selfless face painters, magicians, jugglers, PE Teachers, Circus School kiddos, storytellers, animal trainers, cup stackers, yoga instructors, who have donated their talents to this very deserving group of children. And to my amazing cake bakers, Valerie and Danielle, who show up every month, rain or shine, sick or not, to delivery these culinary treats to make these parties just so much more special, THANK YOU.  And last but certainly not least, to all of you who donated to Birthday Smiles this year, you kindness, generosity and huge hearts are appreciated more than I can ever express. Thank you for keeping our candles lit for over 8,000 children since 2009!

To see a video made by Angela and Andrew Richburg that helps you understand the impact we have on one of the facilities we serve, take a look at the top of this post.

Someone once said "A great Non-Profit doesn't fix problems, it reveals the power of the community to solve them"

Party On

Rise Justice/Director

 

Summer is Almost Over for 2016

Hi to all My Party Animals

Birthday Smiles continues to celebrate with over 100 children per month. I am guessing that if you are reading this you also got my email asking for funds. Up until now we have gotten along well without having to ask you for much due to some very generous people.  As of today we have received over $6,000, 5 months of operating costs. What makes this remarkable is that it came from 6% of our supporters. You know who you are and your generosity is appreciated more that I can say.  For those of you still waiting, go ahead and hit that donate button. The end of the year is big for us. We try to make the children's holidays special. Especially Halloween when we get costumes for all the children at CCN. That was a remarkable day last year and we will remember that for years to come.

I get a lot of questions about used toys and why we won't take them.  I realize that these wonderful children spend their lives getting hand me downs and used everything. I want their birthdays to be that one time that they get something they want, that is new and shiny. Nothing brings this home for me like the following encounter. One little 8 yr. old girl wanted mostly clothes for her birthday, being very specific of style/color etc.  I did my best and got her some lovely outfits for school.  When she dug through her birthday bag, her first comment was,  "Look Mom, they all still have tags on them!"  Kind of broke my heart.  So until we run out of money, they will get "new".

Thank all of you again for caring about Birthday Smiles, you are our backbone.

Party On

Rise Justice/Director

APRIL, 2016

HOPE YOU ALL LIKE OUR NEW WEBSITE, SHOULD BE EASIER TO NAVIGATE AND YOU CAN STILL MAKE DONATIONS ON LINE. WE WILL BE MAKING ADJUSTMENTS FOR AWHILE, SO BEAR WITH US. THANKS TO MY SON, ADAM RUBERG, WHO IS ALWAYS LOOKING OUT FOR BIRTHDAY SMILES, AND HAS DONE ALL THE HEAVY LIFTING TO GIVE US A NEW WEB PRESENCE.  I BELIEVE HIS COMMENT WAS, "MOM, THIS IS SO EASY YOU CAN NOW UPDATE IT YOURSELF".  PRETTY SURE THAT WAS A HINT, BUT I AM UP FOR THE CHALLENGE.

BIRTHDAY SMILES CONTINUES TO FLOURISH THANKS TO SO MANY KIND AND GENEROUS PEOPLE. YOU KNOW HOW THEY SAY "IT TAKES A VILLAGE", WELL, IN OUR CASE, IT TAKES A WHOLE CITY!  INDIVIDUALS, GIRL SCOUT TROOPS, SO MANY RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS, CORPORATIONS, RETAIL, SO MANY THAT I AM OVERWHELMED WITH KINDNESS.  FILLED PARTY BAGS HAVE BEEN ARRIVING AT MY HOUSE BY THE 100'S (WHICH IS A GOOD THING SINCE WE GO THROUGH ABOUT 100/MO.)  DONATIONS ARE A LITTLE SPARSE THIS TIME OF YEAR, BUT I KNOW ALL OF YOU, THEY WILL PICK UP. I HAVE NEVER BEEN DISAPPOINTED. 

ANGELA RICHBURG AND FAMILY CONTINUE TO SPEARHEAD THE PARTIES AT THE COMITIS CENTER AND ACCESS HOUSING. THIS MONTH SHE CELEBRATED 10 BIRTHDAYS AT THESE LOCATIONS (THAT WAS SOME CRAZY WALMART SHOPPING). MY POSSE OF REGULARS, MICKIE ARCHULETA, JIN LOHMEIER, NEW VOLUNTEER ANN KALIN, AND LISA KUTNER HAVE BEEN EXTRAORDINARY AT COLFAX COMMUNITY NETWORK AND FAMILY TREE HOUSE OF HOPE. I NEED TO GIVE A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR AMAZING CAKE BAKERS; DANIELLE WATSON, VALERIE BOYLES, AND MIWHA GESCHWIND.  THEIR CREATIONS ARE BEYOND WONDERFUL.

KEEP BIRTHDAY SMILES ON YOUR RADAR, WE APPRECIATE ALL YOU DO.

PARTY ON

RISE JUSTICE/DIRECTOR

 

July 2015

Birthday Smiles is 6 years old!  Hard to believe this started with a small idea and blossomed into an organization that has served over 6,000 children in 7, soon to be 8, shelters in the Denver Metro Area.  This was accomplished because of so many kind and generous people, organizations, and corporations.  Each and every month, I am beyond grateful for all of the donations and time given to us by so many: 

  1. Jim Elliot Christian School who honors us consistently with the most amazing crafts and gifts to give to our kiddos. (my standard refrain is "How do they do that!?)
  2. Brent's Place who donated so many of their excess toys that I thought it was Christmas
  3. Elizabeth Souders who drove from Parker with new toys
  4. Zack L aka Batman who donated his awesome talents and Batmobile to entertain our children at CCN (see picture)
  5. Bryant Vander Weerd of Fox 31 News who filmed us at CCN for a piece on the local news.  His caring and thoroughness and expert editing brought the mission of Birthday Smiles to a new audience. The video is posted on the website.
  6. The Renaissance School who brought the children at CCN their expertise in Cup Stacking. What a fun day! (Picture)
  7. Edison Elementary who donated their Penny Harvest to Birthday Smiles , an extraordinary group of children!
  8. Jackson Kelly Law Firm collecting books and donations, thank you Laura Hackney!
  9. Kohls Department Store, for their generous $ donation and blankets to keep our little ones warm at night. Thank you Kathy Krajewski!
  10. Kizmet, an accessory store, for honoring us as their charity of the month in February
  11. COPIC for continuing to support us every year.
  12. Kay Wright and friends for all the filled party bags they have supplied for such a long time.
  13. Karen Gutierrez and the ECHO foundation of Northrop Grumman and I know she gets tired of me saying this, but you are our Angel on Earth!
  14. Renee Statham who remembers us with every paycheck
  15. The Mormon Church who assembled the most amazing party bags I have every seen.
  16. Rihanna Grant who donated the gifts from her 5th Birthday Party to Birthday Smiles, because she thought other children would need them more than she would.  She takes my Sweetheart of the Month Award!
  17. Thank you Brooke and Grace Sommers for stepping in and helping at Comitis along with the Richburgs, your hearts are huge!

Plus so many individual donors, thank you does not seem sufficient. But.....THANK YOU!  Angela Richburg and family continue to organize the party at the Comitis Center and are starting a Birthday Smiles party at a new location in Commerce City, Access Housing. They are amazing and we are so lucky they have adopted Birthday Smiles with all their hard work .Colfax Community Network and Family Tree House of Hope also continue to celebrate with us monthly with help from Mickie Archuleta, Lisa Kutner and Jin Loehmeier.

Those wonderful "Denver Cycle" Ladies" at Hamburger Mary's are honoring us again on August 14th with their Bingo. If you want a good laugh, join us and support the cause.  And Remember, when buying things on AMAZON, and we all do, make your purchase through AMAZON SMILES in honor of Birthday Smiles. Doesn't cost you a thing and we get money from each purchase.

Party On

Rise Justice