News, Updates & Opportunities
January 2023
Upcoming Events
Mark Your Calendars | 3rd Annual Miles for Smiles 5K Kicks Off May 19

We started the Miles for Smiles FUNdraiser three years ago as a way to safely raise funds and build community during the pandemic. A huge success, it's become an annual event and we want you to be a part of the fun!

All Birthday Dreams supporters, parents, children, friends, family, neighbors, basically everyone, 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 soon!

For now, mark your calendars 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! 
Nominate Birthday Dreams
It's that time again! Voting for nominations for Best of Renton 2023 runs from January 9 to February 3, with finalist voting taking place March 9 - April 4. Please take a moment to nominate Birthday Dreams.

Scan the QR code or visit: to vote.
This is Why We Do It
This is Why We Do It!
Every birthday is special, but milestone birthdays are especially important. We are always so thankful to learn about and share how meaningful our service is to our vulnerable teen community. Older kids often try to take the burden and stress off their parents by telling them their birthday isn't important. The feedback below was shared by a mother who was living in a shelter with her teenage son.

"[My son] told me not to worry about getting him anything. He said he didn't need anything...[The celebration] is one of those things that will leave long and wonderful memories that will last forever... Without [Birthday Dreams] I would not have been able to provide anything at all for my son's sweet 16... I am so very grateful...Thank you so much. What an amazing program!"
Community Support and Recognition
We are grateful for and humbled by those who raised awareness of and donated to Birthday Dreams throughout this past holiday season. In addition to the organizations and individuals we highlighted in December, we delighted to recognize the below community partners for their amazing support.
Through its partnership with The Salvation Army, Second Chance Foundation received a surplus of donations this past holiday season. The team at the foundation selected Birthday Dreams to receive nearly surplus of nearly 2000 toys and party supplies, valued at over $10,500! This is just HUGE for us. On behalf of the entire team at Birthday Dreams – our sincere thanks to Second Chance Foundation!
In January, the amazing team at Four Generals Brewing surprised Birthday Dreams with a $2,758 donation! The donation was the result of December-long sale which benefitted Birthday Dreams. Needless to say, it was a great way for us to ring in the new year. Our sincere thanks to Four Generals Brewing and to all of their patrons who participated in the fundraiser.
During the month of December, local business Oh Kelly’s donated 10% of their Christmas Cookie Kit sales to Birthday Dreams. Over 100 cookie kits were sold which resulted in a $280 donation to Birthday Dreams! Thank you!

Oh Kelly's Cookies is currently taking Valentine Cookie Kit orders. Visit Oh Kelly's on Instagram to place your order.
The student leadership team at Kentridge High School selected Birthday Dreams as one of two organizations to benefit from their holiday toy drive. Thank you! We at Birthday Dreams are always excited to see "kids helping kids" and were overjoyed to the KR's generous donation.

There are lots of volunteer opportunities available to teens at Birthday Dreams. Want to get involved? Contact Volunteer Coordinator Dalia Silverstein at
In December, North Tacoma Montessori Center organized a toy donation drive to benefit Birthday Dreams. This fundraiser amounted to over 300 toys donated, valued at over $3,600! Thank you NTMC!
John Hoffman of the HD Fowler Company organized a holiday toy drive that ran into early January. The drive yielded an impressive "haul" of toys and cash, which was donated to Birthday Dreams. A big thank you to John, HD Fowler Company and everyone who donated to the drive.
Our thanks to Susan and Roger Atlas for their donation of hundreds of books to Birthday Dreams! Susan and Roger expressed their intention to provide books to our cause whenever we need them. Thank you, Atlas’ family for your support!
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.

  • Amazon "Logistics for Good" $2,500
  • Microsoft Alumni Network $482
Volunteer Spotlight | Jill Slabey
Jill Slabey has been volunteering with Birthday Dreams since May 2022. She had recently started baking and wanted to find an outlet for her new-found cake-baking hobby. A Google search led her to Birthday Dreams; she immediately signed up to donate her first cake (Lego-themed). Of the 20 cakes she has baked to date, she says her llama cake was a favorite.

Jill says she felt drawn to the mission of Birthday Dreams because she had parents who always made a big deal out of birthdays and wanted to play a small role in providing that for other children.
Now a Birthday Dreams advocate, Jill recruited her boyfriend's mom, Carol Oshiro, to volunteer with Birthday Dreams. Carol has baked cakes, donated gifts, and even sponsored an entire party in honor of Jill's birthday this past month. Jill says she and Carol love talking about the cakes they are baking and sharing tips/techniques with each other.

Jill has also organized two volunteer opportunities with her team from Amazon, where the team spent six hours wrapping gifts and crafting candles for 'pin the candle on the cake' game. She already has a third volunteer activity on the calendar and has signed up to bake two cakes in January. Thank you, Jill. You truly deserve to be celebrated for all you do!

See our past Volunteer Highlights here.
Kids Helping Kids | Morissa Donahue
17-year-old volunteer Morissa Donahue radiates positivity in school and in the community and Birthday Dreams is fortunate to be the beneficiary of that positivity. A go-getter who understands the importance of giving back, Morissa has spent the last four summers volunteering many of her weekdays here at Birthday Dreams. This is in addition to her summer job as a lifeguard at a local aquatic center.
Morissa has demonstrated a deep understanding of what we do here at Birthday Dreams and consistently jumps in to help where she is most needed. Whether she is filling goody bags, wrapping gifts or organizing supplies, she brings positive energy into the office and takes on each task with enthusiasm.

Morissa is a top performing soccer player in the King County and recently accepted a college offer. We wish her well with her future endeavors and hope she'll continue to volunteer with us into her adulthood.
Awesome Cakes Delivered with Love
We love this magical mermaid cake made for a 10-year-old girl by Carolyn Weger. Carolyn, who started volunteering with us about six months ago, typically makes several cakes a month. Thank you, Carolyn. We look forward to your continued partnership.
Cheri Katana made this majestic unicorn cake for a special two-year-old girl. Cheri made (and delivered to the recipient's location) between one and three cakes a month throughout 2022. A big thank you to Cheri for her consistent donation of her time and talent.
These princess cupcakes, baked by one of our newer volunteers, Sandy Newbury, were assembled into a beautiful dress adorned with a tiara for a lucky 7-year-old girl. Sandy also volunteers her time wrapping gifts. Welcome to our volunteer army Sandy. We appreciate you.
Our thanks also to the Friends of Birthday Dreams who donated gifts for above celebrations. And volunteer extraordinaire Jim Waugh for making the special deliveries.
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

  • Saturday, January 14 at 11am
  • Tuesday, January 17 at 6pm
  •  Saturday, February 11 at 11am
  • Tuesday, February 21 at 6pm

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

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

  • Volunteers to sort candy
  • Party Coordinators
  • Community Event Coordinators
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

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.
Birthday Club Corner
Our thanks to the following individuals and organizations who joined or renewed their Birthday Dreams Birthday Club membership in November:

Charles and Susan Allison, Amazon - Logistics for Good, Allan and Merry Avery, Randy and Kelly Barkhurst, Anh Quach Crandall Rebecca Daum, Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Celie Forrester, Interpret This Inc, Steve and Gail Kaneko, Vivek Kapoor, Aubrey Larsen, Elion Lipton, Heidi Macdonald, Mary Mann, Microsoft Alumni Network, Shannon Mitchell, Grace Park, Leanne Procter Cynthia Randall, Stephanie Reitz, Seattle Fish Guys LLC, Sound Credit Union, Tegna Foundation, Ann Verbeck, Jennifer Lee Wilson and Arika Zwack.