Birthdays By Special Delivery
Birthdays by Special Delivery is a program that LIHI has offered with the help of two volunteers for the last three years. Volunteers Nancy and Judy have spent the first Saturday of the month celebrating birthdays with LIHI children. Three years ago Nancy and Judy (sisters) heard about a group of women who were throwing birthday parties for children staying in shelters. They were inspired by the work these women were doing, and it really hit home for them. Nancy, as a child, did not get many birthday parties. Her birthday is close to other major holidays and this led to her birthday being lumped into other celebrations. Recently Judy found herself on hard times, she was laid off from a good job she had for a long time and was finding it difficult to get back into the job market. She found herself relying on social service programs to keep her steady as she re-focused and re-established herself. She was using many of the same programs our residents use and developed a new appreciation for the difficulties people face trying to find stability.
Taking their personal experience and their new found inspiration they approached a friend and colleague and asked how they might help. That friend was LIHI executive director, Sharon Lee. Sharon was also excited about the idea and connected Nancy and Judy to the LIHI volunteer department. Nancy and Judy have now hosted these fantastic parties at two different LIHI sites. Children who participate are formerly-homeless, low-income and living in transitional housing. Their parties bring together the kids of the building to celebrate and play together. They’re helping us build new community ties among our residents and give kids a great experience they will always remember. The parties always include a fun theme, games, cake, fresh fruit and juice, and presents for the birthday children of the month.