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Make a financial donation, or be more hands-on and become a birthday boss! Birthday bosses are assigned specific birthdays. Families tell community social worker Julie Sondhelm what they want for their child's birthday (often a gift card, other times specific toys), who then passes the information along to the Birthday Club chairs, and the birthday boss then purchases the item and a card and drops them off at Jewish Family Services (6905 Hoover Rd., Indianapolis). For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I cannot put into words how grateful and appreciative I am for all that you've done. You gave my daughter a wonderful birthday! This year has not been easy and happy times mean so much. Thank you for everything!"
"You really made me smile this morning with your heartwarming message! People don't understand how hard it is to celebrate birthdays for your children sometimes."
"A boy hadn't had new basketball shoes for two years. He plays for his school, and his friends' shoes were new, but his single mom couldn't afford it. When he saw the gift card, he almost cried."
"My young children don't quite undestand the value of a dollar, but they love celebrating their birthdays. They start planning their parties several months before the actual date; the theme and guest lists change multiple times, but the excitement remains the same. I got involved in this program because I feel all children deserve to be celebrated and I love that my whole family can get involved in this initiative."
"As a mother of three young children, I am fully aware of the excitement and anticipation of a child's birthday! My kids start counting down six months in advance, talking about what type of party they want to host for their friends, what gifts they would like, who they are inviting, and eeven what kind of cake they want that year. I feel so fortunate that we are able to plan a special day to celebrate each of my kids!
When I first heard of the Birthday Club, I immediately knew it was a committee that I wanted to join and help steer. I look forward to helping to give other parents the same sense of joy I feel when I see the excitement and hear my children's laughter on their birthdays. There is a sense of pride that a parent feels when she is able to host a small birthday party or take her child out for a special meal, and I am excited to be a part of enabling other parents to share that same feeling." —Leah Aft