News, Updates & Opportunities
February 2023
Upcoming Events
Spring Fundraiser | May 19- June 2
Ready… Set… Move your body for a great cause! The Miles for Smiles Virtual 5K fundraiser is getting closer by the day! Last year’s event was a huge success; we want you to be a part of the fun in 2023!
Anyone is welcome to participate! Whether individually or as part of a team, you can run, walk, or roll at your own pace and in your own way – any time during the two weeks. It’s the movement that matters!

Stay tuned for more information through the Birthday Dreams newsletter, and our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts! Registration will open NEXT WEEK!
For now, mark your calendars (May 19 - June 2) and start putting together your team for the Birthday Dreams Miles for Smiles 5K! Stay fit! Stay safe! Support a homeless child’s birthday dreams!

We would like to thank our awesome Miles for Smiles 5K event sponsors:
This is Why We Do It
"We are in low-income housing and can't afford this birthday for our child."

This was feedback that we received from the mother of a recent Birthday Dreams party. Her daughter was turning 13 and wanted to be sure her daughter felt celebrated as she entered into her teenage years, in spite of the family's financial challenges. The mother went on to say:

"She [her daughter] was so surprised when she saw her birthday cake and gifts. This birthday makes us very happy. I am very thankful for all you do..."
Community Support and Recognition
What a fantastic way to start the New Year! Chick-fil-A generously donated hundreds of gift cards valued at $4,500, to Birthday Dreams. We will be issuing these gift cards in a huge number of birthday party gift bags this year for our Birthday Dreamers to enjoy! Thank you Chick-fil-A!
Birthday Dreams is so fortunate to have built a great partnership with Google over the past two years. In 2022, Birthday Dreams was one of the featured non-profits during the Google Holiday Giving campaign at their Kirkland offices. We had the chance to put up an information kiosk at their office and Google employees donated over $20,000 in support of Birthday Dreams! We are honored to have been a part of this wonderfully generous campaign! Our thanks to the entire Google team for being so supportive of our mission.
We had a record number of toy drives and year-end donations come in to wrap up 2022! Quite a few more significant donations came in early January as well. Our sincere thanks and appreciation to all of the individuals/companies that supported Birthday Dreams – your donations are a HUGE part of keeping our gift & party supply inventory stocked and ready to go for each birthday celebration that comes our way! Specific thanks for recent gift & party supply donations goes to:

  • Carol Spainhower
  • Kyle Schlicker
  • Diana Madison
  • Karen Guillermo and Roman Linsao
  • Salley Eastey
  • Brian Magbaleta
  • Carol Cruz
  •  VFW Post 3063,
  • DAR-Seattle Chapter,
  • Navigators USA Troop #309
Grant Support
The grants that we receive each month are essential to our ability to serve our local community. Birthday Dreams thanks for following community partners for their recent financial support.

  • The Kidstarter Project - $16,800
  • BNSF Foundation - $3,500
  • The Leslie Kincaid Lawrence & Nicholas Lawrence Charitable Giving Fund - $250

Our sincere thanks and appreciation to the above foundations for their generosity and support of Birthday Dreams!
Volunteer Spotlight | Cheri Katana
After working in the schools for 35 years as a special education teacher and then a speech/language pathologist, Cherie Katana retired in 2016. She was looking for a volunteer activity that would help others, but also be fun. Cheri said, “When I came across Birthday Dreams, I knew right away that baking cakes for children was for me. Helping kids, being creative and baking; All fun in my book. Every time I sign up to make a cake, I get excited about planning it and making it. I am often online looking for new techniques and theme ideas to try out. I often plan out cakes while swimming laps at the YMCA, which helps the time go by quicker. I also deliver the cakes and love it when I get to meet the Birthday boy or Girl.” 
Cherie’s other volunteer activities include helping at the Salvation Army Food Bank and Northwest Association for Blind Athletes. Besides baking, she enjoys swimming, biking, walking her dog Gemma and working in her yard.
Awesome Cakes Delivered with Love
This Baby’s First Cake, made by Karen Criddle, was gifted to a lucky boy who likes ducks and the colors yellow and blue. Karen has made cakes for us every month, for the last 14 months - they are always amazing! Thank you, Karen.
This cake was made for a princess’ first birthday by Kari Hayden. Over the past four months, Kari has returned to regularly baking cakes and cupcakes for us, after being very active pre-COVID. We are grateful for her time and talent.
Felicia McDaneld created this masterpiece of a cake for a young lady turning 18. Felicia has been baking cakes for Birthday Dreams, as her time permits, since 2014. Felicia, thank you for nearly 10 years of sweet treats.
We are very grateful to the Friends of Birthday Dreams for donating gifts for all three of the birthday kids above. Gifts included: Pip Squigz Ringlets, a Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Tablet, an Ocean & Sand Sensory Bin, clothes, Disney movie and gift sets, art supplies, body fragrances and gift cards. Jim Waugh delivered all three parties. Of note: Jim is a finalist for the Best of Renton in the volunteer category. Finalist voting opens March 9.
Get Involved
Volunteer Orientation and Opportunities

We are always in need of amazing volunteers. If you are interested in getting involved, sign up to attend a one-hour in-person orientation by emailing our Volunteer Coordinator Dalia Silverstein, at

  • Tuesday, February 21 at 6pm
  • Saturday, March 11 at 11am
  • Tuesday, March 14 at 6pm

Contact our Community Events Coordinator, Leah Battin, at for team building and service project opportunities.

Cake bakers of all experience levels are needed! Contact for details.
Office and Party Supply Needs
We rely on our donors and volunteers to make birthday dreams come true. A list of upcoming parties and party needs can be found here. This month we are in particular need of the following items:

  • R/C Cars or Trucks
  • Hot Wheels Multi Packs (usually come in 5, 9, or 10)
  • Board Games (for all ages)
  • Card Games (for all ages)
Did you know that you can use Amazon to setup automatic donations? Just select “Subscribe and Save” to make an automatic order monthly for Birthday Dreams and select the Birthday Dreams address when you check out! It’s an easy way to support our office needs and help Birthday Dreams in a big way. Check out the Amazon Wish List for more ideas.

We are always in need of:

  • Juice (gallon jugs or boxes – non-refrigerated)
  • Large gift bags, clothing boxes and bows
  • Gift Cards in $10 - $25 denominations
  • Infant-Toddler learning toys
Birthday Club Corner
Birthday Dreams welcomes our new and renewing Birthday Club members in the past month:
  • BNSF Railway Foundation
  • Four Generals Brewing LLC
  • Google Matching Funds
  • Melrose Grill
  • H.D. Fowler Company
  • Inviso Corporation
  • The KidStarter Project
  • Microsoft Matching Gifts Program
  • Karen Middaugh
  • Jeff & Jessica Roach
  • The Leslie Kincaid Lawrence & Nicholas Lawrence Charitable Giving Fund
  • Eric Young
A big THANK YOU to our amazing Birthday Club members!