WESTFIELD, NJ — Every child deserves a celebration on their birthday, according to Westfield moms Stacy Bergerman and Jennifer Wilner, who in 2010 started a nonprofit organization that provides children in need with all the essential supplies for a great party.
The Birthday Box, a 501c3 non-profit organization, provides a cake or cake mix, party utensils and a wrapped gift. The box is assembled by The Birthday Box team and delivered to the director of the outreach facility, then delivered to the birthday child’s family.
The Birthday Box respects each family's dignity by keeping their identities anonymous. The first name, gender and age of the child are given through the outreach facility and the box is assembled accordingly.
“We have worked very hard to make The Birthday Box into something we are most proud of," said Bergerman. "It holds a special place in my heart.”
The idea came to Bergerman when she was celebrating her son’s fourth birthday. She saw the mountain of gifts that he had received and wondered about other, less-fortunate, children and how they may not be able to afford a party. She decided to start an organization with the help of Wilner that would give those children the birthday party they deserved.
"I realize that things change so fast in life and one day, we could be that family in need, "said Bergerman. "I am happy to provide for someone else who needs a little help right now. We all need some help at varying times in life and it's comforting to know that my colleague, Jenn Wilner, and I have created The Birthday Box to help make someone’s life a little easier.”
Bergerman and Wilner’s children help in The Birthday Box process and, as a result, are learning both gratitude and community-awareness--lessons that any child can learn by participating in The Birthday Box program.
“The children who donate to The Birthday Box may feel his or her first sense of selflessness and added appreciation for how lucky they are. Most children don't understand that many children, right in their own town, are much less fortunate than themselves. This is a life lesson for everyone to understand,” said Bergerman.
The Birthday Box works in collaboration with several organizations in New Jersey and Maryland and is always looking to add more that have children in need.
The organization will hold a fundraising event on Friday, June 21, at the California Pizza Kitchen at the Mall at Short Hills. Come any time that day, bring the flyer (available on their website) and 20 percent of any meal will be donated to The Birthday Box.
“We are very grateful to the California Pizza Kitchen for hosting fundraisers like this, which enable local charities to raise awareness to their cause,” said Bergerman.
To learn more or participate in The Birthday Box program, visit www.thebirthdaybox.org. Like it on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheBirthdayBox. You can also contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.