Birthday Blessings will hold their Annual Birthday Bash Campaign from March 25 through March 27. 

The 501c3 organization provides a variety of resources to foster children in 19 Missouri counties, including Pike and Lincoln Counties.

The organization strives to meet the emotional and physical needs of kids in care. They provide new duffel bags and backpacks, birthday party supplies and gifts, baskets of household goods for teens transitioning to independent living, graduation gifts and seasonal “loneliest child” care packages for kids with no family or social ties. They also assist with special needs such as bedding, clothing or items that aren’t covered by other funding sources. 

Birthday Blessings does this by partnering with child advocacy organizations such as Children’s Divisions and Court Appointed Special Advocates. Staff at these organizations collects information about the needs of foster kids and sends it to the nonprofits. 

Birthday Blessings uses these details to put together tailored services for the kids, which they deliver to the advocacy agencies. Staff at the agencies delivers the resources to the kids. 

Nichole Orf is the 45th Circuit Children’s Division manager, and she has advocated for many children in foster care during her career and has personally delivered birthday bags to her kids. She has recalled the excitement of one little girl upon receiving her gifts. 

“She was so excited when she started opening the presents,” Orf said.  “She pulled out her backpack, which was a JoJo Siwa backpack.  She started jumping up and down and hugging the backpack.  

“She said, ‘I’m so excited!  It’s JoJo.  I was just looking at this at Wal-Mart and wanted it for my birthday.’  She said this was her best birthday ever.”

Amy Detmer has been a foster parent in Lincoln County for six years. Her foster children have benefited from services the non-profit provides. She is heartened by the efforts put into supporting vulnerable kids, including the delivery of a birthday bag for a toddler in her care. 

“When I picked up this bag from our worker, I got chills from the love I felt from complete strangers. In this day, it was so wonderful to see and feel the kindness this bag brought. My little girl was so excited and loved all her new things. To put a cake mix and candles and all the party supplies was so thoughtful,” Detmer said.“I know not everyone can foster or adopt but to come alongside those that can and share and help us is so appreciated. It made me feel like I had support and it gave our little girl extra that she so deserves. Thank you to all the supporters that wonder where the money goes. I promise you we got nice things and so perfectly lined up to her age.” 

There are more than 14,000 children in the Missouri foster system. The organization served more than 140 of them in Pike and Lincoln Counties in 2020. 

The organization expects to serve a record number of kids in 2021. Birthday Blessings is looking for local individuals, businesses and civic groups who are interested in partnering with them in their mission. 

There are several ways to make a tax-deductible donation. Donations can be mailed to Birthday Blessings at 429 Aid Avenue in West Plains, 65775. Its Facebook page has a link to the website at www.birthday-blessings.org, which has online payment options. 

For more information, call (417) 372-5306.