“We see so much need in the foster care system. Not just physical needs, but our kids often have emotional trauma. We target both issues. We give out items like duffle bags and bedding, but we also strive to fill kids in care with hope and cheer,” said Shannon VonAllmen, executive director of Birthday Blessings.
The 501c3 organization founded in West Plains in 2013 and has grown to serve kids in many Missouri counties. They collaborate with the 44th Circuit Children’s Division to assist area foster kids. This includes children and teens from Wright, Douglas and Ozark Counties.
Social workers and advocates collect information about the needs of foster kids and send it to Birthday Blessings. The non-profit carefully tailors resources for each child and makes a monthly delivery to the advocacy office. Children’s Division staff take birthday bags, care packages and other resources to the kids during visits.
VonAllmen said 2021 has been busy in the 44th Circuit! The charity has given more than 150 foster children birthday bags with party supplies and gifts that target emotional or physical needs. They sent out 86 new duffle bags and/or backpacks to kids, cutting down on the use of trash bags for moving or school. They provided two foster kids who lack family and/or social ties with Loneliest Child Care Packages. They honored five high school graduates for their accomplishments.
“As a non-profit, we rely on donations to operate. We don’t charge anyone for resources and we don’t get any government funding. I was very excited when someone contacted us to do November donor match event!” VonAllmen stated.
The charity held a Thanksgiving Double the Impact Campaign from Nov. 19-25.
“We have had a little foster boy for almost three years who has received gifts from Birthday Blessings! Each year his face lights up and it makes him the happiest little boy ever!” said Kristin Shannon, a Wright County resident. “To these kids, Birthday Blessings is truly amazing and they look forward to the gifts they receive!”
“If you feel the need to give, remember Birthday Blessings and the little kiddos in our community on the receiving end. Your donation just may be what made them smile for once!” the foster mom finished.
The organization is supported by Hopewell Free Will Baptist Church in Wright County and Douglas Community Foundation in Douglas County.
The faith-based non-profit is inviting local individuals, civic groups, and businesses get involved with their mission.
For more information, visit www.birthday-blessings.org or contact VonAllmen at 417-372-5306. Donations can be made on their website or mailed to Birthday Blessings, 429 Aid Ave, West Plains Mo. 65775.