Doing Good: Nonprofit celebrates the specialness of kids’ birthdays

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“As a child growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money. Often when birthdays came around, there just was not enough extra money to celebrate them,” recalled Kasey Litt. “It was devastating for me.”

Hoping that other children wouldn’t feel disappointed on their birthdays, Litt began My Birthday Matters to let children know, regardless of their family’s financial circumstances, they are special and their birthdays are important.

On June 8, Litt and Simple Needs GA founder Brenda Rhodes held a bowling fundraiser at AMF Lanes in Marietta to kickoff and raise money for the program that hopes to make birthdays special for disadvantaged children.

“We were amazed to learn that there are over 200 children who are considered homeless in the Marietta area,” said Litt, in regards to the partnership with Marietta City Schools. “We want to be able to support all the children in need.”

The bowling fundraiser stocked the birthday wishlist pantry with new toys and raised over $1,000 to help MBM buy not only toys, but also essentials that children may need for the school year such as supplies, shoes, and more.

Along with providing gifts and essentials to children, the program will provide “birthdays in a box” for elementary school children so they can share their special day with their class. It will also host a monthly birthday celebration where families can attend and celebrate with games, food, and lots of fun.

The new program presents the community with many volunteer opportunities to ensure that My Birthday Matters becomes a success. Litt said, “Currently, we need donations of books, toys, school supplies, and other essentials. We also need people to help us put together birthday packages, and once the organization formally begins, we will need help in planning events and birthday parties.”

My Birthday Matters will formally kick-off in the new school year.

The program is established under Simple Needs GA, a nonprofit based in Marietta that began in 2010. An avid volunteer, Rhodes started the organization, “to fill in the gaps that other charities could not get to,” she said. The organization provides items such a toiletries, tents, sleeping bags, and other items to help make someone’s current situation a bit easier.

Keeping with the theme of SNGA, My Birthday Matters hopes to, “eliminate some of the worry and hardships the families are going through,” shared Litt. “For the kids, all of this will help promote self-worth and a sense of dignity—and it will also be a lot of fun!”

In other news: Senior Connections, the home and community-based service organization that provides programs designed to help seniors “age in place” in the comfort of their homes raised $200,000 at Senior Prom held on May 17. Senior Connections distributes meals throughout metro Atlanta as well as Macon. The nonprofit agency also provides home repair, in-home care and neighborhood centers to area seniors.