Happy Birthday Inc. believes that every child deserves a celebration. And with every streamer, every dodgeball and every piece of cake, we continue to spread joy to children in foster care. We’ve had a lot of parties since we first started, but there are still many more wonderful children for us to celebrate.

Through no fault of their own, these children enter the foster care system because of some form of abuse or neglect. Foster care provides them with safety and stability until they can find their forever homes. Whether that comes in the form of adoption or their biological family, the primary goal is to give these children a loving and nurturing environment.

According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System’s 2014 report, there were 415,129 children in the foster care system in 2014. And 2,695 of them were in the Kansas City area. That’s a lot of birthday parties.

While many of us have the security of loving homes, parents, relatives, and steady incomes, many children in foster care do not. Their lives are more uncertain. They can spend years going from one home to another. Sometimes staying for only a few weeks before they are moved to the next.

This lack of a support system can give children great anxiety. And it can follow them their whole lives. Former foster youths are more likely to experience homelessness, are more likely to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) and have shown higher rates of unemployment than their peers.

Happy Birthday Inc. seeks to help solve these problems by throwing birthday parties at foster care group homes. Not only do our parties make children feel loved, but they also help to spread awareness to the needs of the foster care system. We want to create more opportunities for these children and increase the number of licensed foster parents in the Kansas City area.

You can help! Donating to Happy Birthday Inc. or volunteering at one of our parties makes our goals possible. Come out and play kickball with the kids, sing really loudly and eat tons of ice cream. Once you go out and connect with these kids, you’ll begin to understand just how special they are.

Better yet, become a foster parent. There are too few foster parents for all the kids in Kansas City. With a a little time and energy, you can give a child the safety and stability they need. Whether you live in Kansas or Missouri, if you have a good home, a kind heart and a passion to help others, you’re almost there. Together we can make these children feel celebrated. Join the party with Happy Birthday Inc.