CFA’s Birthday in a Bag Campaign Makes a Difference
17th of August 2021
For children growing up in foster care, birthdays can be a sorrowful reminder of the family they are not celebrating with. Often times, these children travel from home to home with very little possessions. The Children’s Foundation of America strives to celebrate their precious lives and support the families who care for them by providing hundreds of birthday kits each year through our Birthday in a Bag campaign.
“Birthday in a Bag is a great way for the community to make a positive impact in a foster youths’ life. Our volunteers look forward to completing each youth’s birthday wish and make them feel special on their birthday,” says Volunteer Coordinator, Briana Calderon. Every month, Briana connects with social workers to gather children’s birthday wishes for the following month. She and her team of volunteers pack gift bags filled with a cake mix, frosting, card, gift, and decorations to help make the youths’ birthday spectacular.
After receiving their birthday gift, a youth responded, “I felt so happy to receive my sweatpants, I have a jacket that goes with them, and it was nice to have a complete matching sweat suit.” When asked how often they received a birthday gift, a youth responded, “Sometimes I celebrate with my family. I’d like to thank those who thought of me for my gift and making my 18th birthday special.”
71% of foster youth reported hardly ever receiving gifts on their birthday. Through our monthly Birthday in a Bag, CFA hopes to reduce that percentage.
How You Can Help
Stock Our Pantry: Birthday in a Bag items can be dropped off at our warehouse Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 1326 W. 9th St. Upland, CA 91786. CFA is collecting the following birthday items year-round:
- Large party bags
- Cake mix
- Birthday decorations
- Party plates
Volunteer: If you’re interested in volunteering to compile birthday bags or create birthday cards for kids, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 909.426.0773 ext. 236.
Donate: As an alternative, a $20 donation made through our website can also provide a complete Birthday in a Bag for a foster youth. Please consider making a monthly donation to help provide birthdays for foster youth throughout the year!
Isabel Millward-Pena, Communications Specialist
Isabel contributes content for our social media, blog, newsletters and promotional materials. She recently earned a bachelor’s degree in English from California State University San Bernardino and is currently working on her master’s degree. Isabel began working with our team as an intern and, luckily for us, never left. Prior to her work at CFA, she was a substitute instructional aid and a supervisor at Starbucks. She has also volunteered as an aid at local elementary schools and notably achieved “Partner of the Quarter” at Starbucks in 2017.