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Barb Bielby, a member of the Troy volunteer team, wraps graduation gifts at Harvester Christian Church. 

Birthday Blessings has been providing birthday bags to foster children in the 45th Circuit Children’s Division since the beginning of the year. This circuit includes of Lincoln and Pike Counties. The circuit currently has approximately 180 children in state custody. 

The organization, based in West Plains Missouri, partners with local children’s divisions to provide kids in care with birthday party supplies and gifts, along with a duffel bag or backpack when needed. 

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This party was an opportunity for five siblings, spread among four different families, to get together and celebrate a special day. Foster parents and a 37th CASA volunteer were in attendance. Dominos in West Plains donated all of the pizza and drinks, as well as provided the location for the event. 

The organization has partnered with Harvester Christian Church in Troy, which provides space for monthly volunteer events. Rachelle Frey, organizer of the Troy service group, has been involved with Birthday Blessings since it started in 2013.

“Birthday Blessings is serving children that have been through traumatic situations, often beyond their understanding. Giving them a message that they matter and the people care on their special day can make their world a better place,” Frey said.

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A foster child sporting a 60-pack of scrunchies she got in her birthday bag.

“It can give them a sense of hope when their needs have often been overlooked. It is more than just an act of kindness in that it affirms their birth, their preferences and their special wishes,” she added.

“It is true we are a ‘birthday party ministry’, and we strive to meet physical and emotional needs of the kids. They commonly enter care with few possessions or only the clothes they are wearing. We gift with purpose. We send out hygiene items, school supplies, clothing and books, as well as other necessities kids in functional families often take for granted.” said Shannon VonAllmen, founder of the organization. 

“Just having their own pillow or blanket is a big deal to them. It’s something familiar to take with them when they move from home to home. They often have emotional issues stemming from abuse or neglect, so we give gifts that have therapeutic value. We send out a lot of cuddle toys, soft blankets and sports equipment.” VonAllmen added.  

“There are a lot of photos and updates about our work on our Facebook page. We can always use more volunteers and more support! More people involved means more kids we can reach,” she finished.

The organization will be holding their Annual Birthday Bash April 1st-3rd. 

An anonymous donor will be matching up to a total of $5000 in monetary donations made during this time. 

This is an excellent opportunity to double the impact of donated dollars.

There are several ways to make a tax-deductible contribution. 

Donations can be mailed to Birthday Blessings, 429 Aid Ave, West Plains MO 65775. 

Visit www.birthday-blessings.org for a Paypal option. 

For more information, call 417-372-5306 or message their Facebook page. 

–Birthday Blessings