Thank You to Everyone Who Made the Gala of Dreams a Success
The 2022 Birthday Dreams Gala of Dreams was a huge success! In fact, this year's event was the most successful fundraiser that Birthday Dreams has ever had. The event raised upwards of $220,000 with matching donations still coming in. The funds raised will help us bring hope, joy and a sense of self-worth to homeless children with the gift of a birthday party! We are humbled by the generosity and support of the community.
Over 300 people attend the event in person, with many more joining us virtually; you can see all of the night's action on Birthday Dreams' YouTube page HERE. To view Gala photos, please go to our website HERE.
We are already planning next year's event. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 14th for the 2023 Gala of Dreams!
Giving Tuesday | November 29
#GivingTuesday is a movement to create an international day of charitable giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season.
Created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Since then, it has grown into a year-round global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
As an active participant in the GivingTuesday season of giving campaign, Birthday Dreams appreciates your support.
This is Why We Do It
This is Why We Do It!
"My son LOVED his party. He was excited to play with his new toys and that meant so much to me because if not for Birthday Dreams, he wouldn't have had that experience..I'm extremely grateful for Birthday Dreams."
Feedback like above, provided by a mother who has overcome addiction and homelessness to provide for her young son, is why we do what we do. The mother shared how she had been unable to celebrate prior birthdays which "hurt her heart." She said, "what I was able to do this time around thanks to Birthday Dreams, really made his day special."
Community Support and Recognition
Nonprofit Spotlight Event Drives Awareness
Last month, Birthday Dreams was featured at a “Nonprofit Spotlight Event” organized by The Bacon Family Foundation. We were honored to be selected as a charity benefitting from intimate invitation-only event, which was attended by 30 guests on September 22nd in Bellevue.
During the event Development Director, Jarod Drozdowski and then-Volunteer Coordinator, Tiffaney Jones shared information about Birthday Dreams' mission, staff and volunteers. The messsage was well received by guests who collectively donated $9,000. The donations were matched dollar-for-dollar by The Bacon Family Foundation, for a grand total of $18,000 in financial support! WOW!
Our thanks and appreciation to the Bacon Family and the whole team at the Foundation for the amazing job they did putting on an amazing nonprofit spotlight event!
Recent Grant Awards
Each month Birthday Dreams receives grant awards from our terrific foundation partners. We would like to highlight the financial support from the following grant funders:
Windows of Hope Foundation - $10,000
Richard M Schulze Family Foundation - $3,550
Our sincere thanks and appreciation to the above foundations for their generosity and support of Birthday Dreams!
Kids Helping Kids
Lauren (17) and Aiden (15) Elrod are students at Issaquah High School and have been volunteering for Birthday Dreams since 2020. They discovered Birthday Dreams when one of Lauren's friends posted on Facebook that she was making cakes for Birthday Dreams; they thought it would be a great way to volunteer during the pandemic. Lauren, Aiden and their mom, JoAnn baked and decorated approximately one cake per week from late Aug 2020 through Feb 2021, and about a cake a month since. Some favorite cakes are mermaid, dinosaur, monster trucks and princess-themed cakes. They said they even have a special area in their house that's specifically for Birthday Dreams cake décor.
In May 2022, Lauren and Aiden began helping out at onsite parties at Union Gospel Mission. Lauren likes to do the face painting while Aiden runs the bouncy house. They have also organized neighborhood collections of leftover Halloween candy, birthday decorations and party supplies. Lauren and Aiden are happy to help homeless youth have a memorable and fun birthday and enjoy the ability to have a direct impact on another child's happiness. Thank you, Lauren, Aiden and JoAnn for all you do for Birthday Dreams!
Generous Donation of Time and Supplies
Our thanks to Lake Forest Rotary Club for their donation of much needed party supplies.
BIG THANKS to all of the Microsoft Teams that supported Birthday Dreams in October with their Micro-give events. We hosted 19 events where Microsoft employees decorated and filled goody bags, created party hats and party games.
Also, thank you to our great team members who hosted the events - Leah Battin, Lilia Anderson, Becky Nickels, Jarod Drozdowski, Nikki Hurkadli, Tiffaney Jones, and Chris Spahn.
Our thanks to Jade Morris for organizing and hosting Birthday Dreams at Microsoft on October 7. We appreciate everyone who donated their time to assemble goody bags for upcoming parties.
Volunteer Spotlight | Terah Rios
Terah Rios first learned of 'Birthday Dreams' in a recent Instagram post by Brooke Fox (Brooke & Jeffrey in the Morning). Curious about the organization, Terah visited the Birthday Dreams website. Terah said, "I am a big 'birthday person' and I always have been. Growing up, we did not have a lot of money, but my mom always made sure we had a fun birthday with lots of sweet treats, prizes and games. I joke that it runs in the family. Amongst my friends, I'm known as the 'crafty one' or 'party planner' of the group...my partner Jeremy Grubaugh and I immediately thought this opportunity was made for me." And actually, it turns out the opportunity was for both of them.
In October, Terah and Jeremy jumped right in and have been assembling birthday supplies to align with specific themes. They have also been spreading the word about Birthday Dreams amongst friends and co-workers. Terah said, "I have posted a few times to Facebook and Instagram - hoping that some of my other friends will jump in and send a gift through your wish list, or sign up to volunteer, etc. Jeremy works for Microsoft, so we actually made a video of us creating a 'galaxy' party a week or so ago, trying to encourage others to give. And honestly just letting everyone know about your charity."
Terah commented that her favorite thing about this opportunity is knowing that she is making kids smile and truly feel like it's their day. Thank you, Terah and Jeremy, for all you do and for spreading the word about our cause.
Awesome Cakes Delivered with Love
Cake Baker Cherie Katana went all out on this Sloth cake for our birthday girl's special "double digits" birthday. Thank you, Jim Waugh, for delivering the cake and gifts, which a variety of dolls and beauty accessories.
This galaxy cake, baked by Jill Slabey, was this out of this world! Jill also donated the toys for the party. Our thanks to Jill, and to Mae McMullin for making the birthday delivery for a special girl turning eight.
Have no fear, Spidey is here, thanks to Cake Baker Karen Criddle whocreated and delivered this awesome cake for little boy turning three! Jim Waugh delivered gifts including a Spiderman action figure, coloring books, and Seattle Aquarium tickets.
Welcome Dalia Silverstein
Birthday Dreams is excited to welcome Dalia Silverstein to the team! Dalia has been a wonderful volunteer with Birthday Dreams since 2014, holding key positions in galas and other events, as well as baking cakes, volunteering at onsite group birthday parties and making deliveries.
Both our Volunteer Coordinator, Tiffaney Jones, and Executive Assistant, Anna Barnett, have moved on to other adventures and are no longer working at Birthday Dreams. They will be missed! We are very blessed to have Dalia step into BOTH of these roles.
Dalia has a Business and Event Planning background. In her professional career, Dalia has worked in Real Estate, Customer Service, Hospitality, Aerospace, and Medical fields. Dalia holds a B.S. in Marketing with a Services Marketing certificate from the University of Central Florida (UCF), as well as a Project Management certificate from the University of Washington. She is a proud mother of a 13-year-old son, Yosef, and is an active volunteer as an Assistant Scoutmaster and Committee Member for his Scouts BSA Troop (formerly known as Boy Scouts). In her spare time, Dalia enjoys hiking, skiing, working out, playing board games, arts and crafts, camping, and just spending time with friends and family.
Volunteer Orientation and Opportunities
We are always in need of amazing volunteers. If you are interested in getting involved, please attend one of our upcoming in person orientations:
Contact our Community Events Coordinator, Leah Battin, at Leah@birthdaydreams.org for team building and service project opportunities.
A list of upcoming parties and party needs can be foundhere.
Birthday Club Corner
We are incredibly thankful to our birthday club members, whose names appear below, who joined or renewed their membership in September and October. We'd love to continue to grow our membership with more thoughtful and generous people like you - so please continue to spread the word about our mission.