Shelter Events- Birthday Celebrations Bring Joy to Children Living in Shelter

Oct 18, 2022

Here at The Salvation Army Austin, we strive to make our client’s experience with homelessness brief, rare, and non-recurring. For children, we try to take this even further. We want them to feel a sense of normalcy during their stay in our shelter. At both of our family shelters, The Rathgeber Center for Families and The Austin Shelter for Women and Children, programs are in place to alleviate some of the stress and adversity children face due to their experience with homelessness. These include child play therapy, an on-site teacher who plans weekly activities and helps with homework, on-site playgrounds and sport courts, and birthday and holiday celebrations.

Every month, a birthday party is hosted in each family shelter to celebrate the children whose birthdays fall within that month. In order to do this, the cafeteria is turned into a birthday wonderland with the help of our amazing partners, volunteers, and donors. The birthday children are celebrated with presents, birthday cake, and fun activities for everyone to enjoy!  Activities vary each month according to the theme, but include things such as bingo, pin the tail on the donkey, a photo booth, petting zoo, and face-painting. There are prizes for the games, a variety of snacks for all, and goody bags for each child that attends. Everyone at the shelter is invited, making it such a fun time for the children, parents, staff, and volunteers!

We want to thank Community Helping Hands, Leslie Neipert, Hayley’s Cakes & Cookies, and Bake-A-Wish for donating gifts, books, and cakes to the children on their actual birthday. We would also like to thank our partners that host the birthday parties each month: Celebrate You! at The Rathgeber Center for Families and The Birthday Party Project at The Austin Shelter for Women and Children. Finally, we would like to thank the mothers and daughters of National Charity League who volunteer each month to help set up and facilitate activities. Our volunteers and partners make it possible to achieve the joy and happiness that these birthday parties bring to the children and families living in our shelters!

If you want to support our family shelters, you can shop our wish lists here: Shelter Wish Lists

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