Giving Back

Westfield Organization Raises $40K for Kids in Foster Care to Celebrate Birthdays with ‘Wonder of Wishes’

About 500 guests attended The Wonder of Wishes event Friday, raising $40,000 for A Birthday Wish. Credits: Marnie Nathanson, The Social Status Co.
The Benjamins played at The Stage House Tavern the night of the event. Credits: Marnie Nathanson, The Social Status Co.
A Birthday Wish celebrated their annual "Wonder of Wishes" event Friday, raising $40k for their cause Credits: Kate Brochu
Guest enjoyed the Zing It! photo booth provided by The Main Event Party Entertainment Credits: Marnie Nathanson, The Social Status Co.
Founder of A Birthday Wish Jane Hoffman Credits: A Birthday Wish

WESTFIELD, NJ – Westfield-based A Birthday Wish raised $40,000 Friday during the annual Wonder of Wishes fundraising event. Westfield resident Jane Hoffman founded the organization in 2014 to demonstrate to children in foster care that their life matters and that they are truly special by providing them with a birthday gift and card selected especially for them.

Attendance at this year's Wonder of Wishes was almost double that of last year's, according to Hoffman.

 “It's amazing to see the community's support for children, teens and young adults in New Jersey foster care,” she said.

Sign Up for E-News

This year’s event was held at the new Stage House Tavern in Mountainside.

“They were incredible supporters of the event,” Hoffman said. “They offered each Wonder of Wishes guest a complimentary drink and they were wonderful to work with.”

Almost 500 tickets were purchased for this year’s event. Tickets were $35 with the option to pay for the transaction cost so that all proceeds could be donated directly to A Birthday Wish.

During the event, guests had the opportunity to purchase A Birthday Wish goods, including t-shirts and hats. Guests were treated to a performance by the Benjamins, who were scheduled to play at the Stage House Tavern that evening.

“It was great to welcome so many new attendees and sponsors this year,” Hoffman said. “The Main Event Party Entertainment provided an awesome Zing It! photo booth that our guests enjoyed all night. It was an incredible new addition.” 

A Birthday Wish grants more than 1,000 wishes annually to children, teens and young adults in foster care. According to Hoffman, no birthday wish goes un-granted and there is no price limit on what children can wish for. Currently the program reaches foster children in 11 counties across New Jersey, and the organization is often asked about opportunities to open up new chapters in other communities.

The annual Wonder of Wishes event makes up about 40 percent to 50 percent of the organization’s funding, and they are hoping to organize a family-friendly event this spring, Hoffman said. The organization also benefits from other community events. This Thursday, Oct. 19, at 7:30 p.m. A Birthday Wish will be at the Back to Business Vendor Bash held by The Social Status Co. at Indigo Art Studio at 102 Elm St. in Westfield. According to Hoffman, attendees can shop fabulous vendors throughout the evening and purchase a raffle ticket for incredible prizes with proceeds supporting their wish-granting activities.

Hoffman and her husband became adoptive parents in 2011.

“We were immediately struck by the human capacity to love and the need for all children to be part of a permanent loving family,” she said.

According to Hoffman and the organization’s website, much of the inspiration for “A Birthday Wish” came from a conversation with her three daughters.

“Children in foster care arrive in that situation through no fault of their own. ​They have been the victims of severe abuse, extreme neglect, many have lost parents to addiction, incarceration or even death,” said Hoffman. “They need to know that they are worthy of a happy childhood and that just when you least expect it something good will come to you. Everyone needs to know they matter.”

Hoffman said that A Birthday Wish is just one small way to say to children, "You are amazing. Don't give up hope of a brighter tomorrow."

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


County of Union to Fly Rainbow Flag for the First Time on June 4

May 23, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ — A rainbow flag will fly for the first time at the Union County Courthouse in recognition of June as LGBTQ Pride Month.

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders has announced they are holding a public Pride Flag Raising Ceremony for Monday, June 4 at 1 p.m. on the steps of the historic Union County Courthouse on Broad Street in Elizabeth.

“Raising the rainbow ...

Open Letter to Dr. Dolan & Westfield High School Administration About Graduation

May 23, 2018

Editor's note: The following is a response to a letter sent to parents from Westfield High School Principal Derrick Nelson telling parents that, due to the potential of Kehler Field being re-turfed, this year’s graduation will be held on the back field behind Westfield High School, with the inclement weather location the varsity gymnasium. The letter tells parents ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, May 26, 9:00 AM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Aunt Carrie's Attic Sale



Mon, May 28, 9:00 AM


Memorial Day Parade

Westfield Police Blotter: Package Stolen from Porch, Shoplifting & More

May 23, 2018

May 15, 2018 11:40 a.m.

A resident of Vernon Terrace reported the theft of a package from their front porch on May 12, 2018 between 11:40 a.m. and 5 p.m.


May 19, 2018 1:16 p.m.

Rhonda Boston, age 32, of Newark, NJ was arrested on the strength of an outstanding warrant for her arrest from Westfield Municipal Court in the amount of $580. Subject was picked up at New Jersey State ...


VISITATION Friday May 25, 2018 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral ...
Read more

How to Find Beneficial Native Plants for Healthy Yards and Gardens

May 24, 2018

Home gardeners and property managers who are interested in joining the native plant movement can get resources and information – and plants – through the Union County “Plant Swap & Shop” event on Thursday evening, June 7, from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Union County Demonstration Garden in the Watchung Reservation.

Plant Swap & Shop is free but re-registration ...

There are Really 3 Reason Buyers Choose the Homes They Buy

Susan Massa Broker Associate CRS SRES ABR 

Keller Williams Premier Properties 188 Elm St Westfield NJ 07090

488 Springfield Ave, Summit, NJ 07901

908-400-0778 cell

Dedicated to Excellence, Dedicated to You “Your Home Your Realtor”

download my smart phone app ...

Ask Maria: How can I help my son? 

Q: My son's best friend's mom just passed away. I am concerned for my son and don't know what to do for him. He is distraught. How can I help my son? 


Grief is a normal and natural reaction to the death of a loved one. No two people grieve the same, even in the family. I am certain that your son’s friend and mom are like family to your son. Losing his ...

Dog Missing from Fanwood Home

UPDATE: Reunited with owner!

ORIGINAL POST: Lexi was seen north side of Fanwood Thursday. She's 25 lbs., tall and looks like a fox.

Lexi is friendly and was wearing a collar with a tag. Call 732-259-5570 if you spot her.

IRS Grants Relief for Taxpayers Affected by Reduction of Maximum Deductible HSA Contributions

The IRS recently announced relief for taxpayers with family coverage under a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) who contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA).


For 2018, taxpayers with family coverage under an HDHP may treat $6,900 as the maximum deductible HSA contribution.


The annual amount had been reduced to $6,850 for 2018 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.


Q. When did you join

I joined in September, ...

Sixty Westfield H.S. Students Inducted into National Honor Societies

Twenty-six Westfield High School students were inducted into La Sociètè Honoraire de Français (the National French Honor Society) on May 10. Listed alphabetically, the inductees are: Ireland Applegarth, David Broughton, Anthony Butera, Julia Csorba, Valerie Chang, Faith Dobosiewicz, Caroline Gallagher, Leonie Humig, Emily Isaacman, Viggo Jabon, Emma Karp, Madeline ...

‘Chambers USA 2018’ Recognizes John Schmidt Among List of America’s Leading Lawyers for Business

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper is pleased to announce that John H. Schmidt has once again been recognized by “Chambers USA” in their annual list of leading lawyers for business. Chambers and Partners, which produces “Chambers USA,” is a client referral organization that researches and subjectively ranks attorneys and law firm practice groups nationwide ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

SURVIVING A STROKE: Quick Medical Response Gives Mom Her Life Back

Carotid artery dissection. It’s one of the most common causes of stroke in younger adults.

And while you might not associate the word “stroke” with younger patients, the condition – if not treated immediately – could lead to paralysis and even death.

Lindsey Singh can attest to the importance of immediacy. The 31-year-old mother of two from Flanders experienced ...

Capitalist or Communist?

Karl Marx may have been the pioneer, but many other Jews were also involved in the struggle for communism, particularly in the early days of the Russian revolution. Personally, I don’t think that we have any apologies to make for this phenomenon. Having suffered unbearably under successive oppressive regimes, many of those political activists genuinely thought communism would be better ...

Stocks Can Rise in a Rising Interest Rate Environment

Investors remain concerned about the potential impact of higher interest rates on stocks. In their most recently released minutes, the Federal Reserve Open Markets Committee indicated the US economy is on solid footing and the economic conditions warrant continued gradual increasing of interest rates. This set off a sale in the stock and bond markets as investors began pricing in a fourth ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 15

On this week’s AtlantiCast, learn some important tips for controlling and avoiding diabetes from an Atlantic Health System expert, see how Atlantic Health is advancing cutting-edge research, hear what’s being done to keep health care environmentally friendly and much more!


Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ — The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that ...