Beverly’s Birthdays is a non-profit organization committed to providing birthday cheer for children experiencing homelessness and families in need.
The organization was founded by Megs Yunn in February 2012 and was inspired by a young girl, Beverly, whom Megs worked with at a low-income after-school program.
In March of 2011, Megs was helping Beverly with her homework and she had to use the phrase “accustomed to” in a sentence. Trying to provide her with an example of how to use the phrase, Megs said, “Beverly, at your birthday party you are accustomed to eating what?”
Beverly responded, “I have never had a birthday party or even my own slice of birthday cake.” At 11 years old, Beverly had never had a birthday party of her own.
Inspired by Beverly’s story, Megs decided to start an organization that provides birthday celebrations for children experiencing homelessness in the Pittsburgh region.
Watch how we spread the cheer:
Programming Overview for Beverly’s Birthdays
Since our inception in Feb. 2012, we have established partnerships with 68 agencies — such as shelters, transitional housing programs, residential treatment facilities, food banks, schools, family centers, and other social service providers. We’ve also partnered with 73 low-income schools and secured contract with Allegheny County Children Youth & Families.
Each day, through our Birthday Cheer programs, we recognize an average 55 birthdays. In 2018 alone, we will recognize over 20,000 birthdays!
Here are all the ways we spread the cheer …
- Birthday Parties: We host a celebration at the agency for children who have a birthday during that month/season. The guests are the other children in the program and their families (if applicable). The celebrations are staffed by volunteers and the parties include food, dessert, games/entertainment and treat bags. Our birthday celebrations represent more than just a party; they’re a way to build community.
- Birthday Presents: The children we serve receive a birthday cheer bin on their birthday. This bin is filled with gender- and age-appropriate gifts, which we can customize. All our bins include a new book and a new toothbrush/toothpaste.
- Itty Bitty Birthday Cheer: This program provides birthday cheer bins (filled with essential newborn items) for newborn babies. We also partner with agencies to provide group baby showers.
- Birthday-in-a-Bag: Pre-assembled bags filled with all the necessary items to host a small birthday celebration — cake mix, frosting, plates, cups, napkins, party hats, etc. — to our agency partners that they can then distribute to families in-need. Primarily, this program services families who are clients of community food banks.
- Classroom Cheer: In collaboration with The Education Partnership, we provide teachers in low-income elementary and primary schools throughout the Greater Pittsburgh region with their own Classroom Cheer Kit. This kit contains everything a teacher would need to celebrate their student’s birthdays.
- The Birthday Boutique: A mobile fashion truck that accompanies us to our birthday parties. The youth can board the vehicle and “shop” for items that make them look good and feel good. We are calling this ‘Hope on a Hanger.’
For more, check out this recent feature in The Washington Post!