Changemakers: Non-profit throwing birthday parties for homeless children

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RENTON, Wash. — Birthdays are meant to be celebrated. When Chris Spahn realized the families of some local kids couldn’t afford birthday parties, she got to work.

Spahn co-founded a non-profit called Birthday Dreams with a simple mission: bringing joy, hope and dignity to homeless children with the gift of a birthday party.

“They are going through so much, they’ve lost so much,” Spahn said. “Just to have a day that’s all about them. That reinforces how special they are and how much they matter, that is huge for these kids. It actually does make a difference.”

For two years, Andrea Bates says she couldn’t afford birthdays for her kids.

“I was homeless with my four children, I was pregnant with my fourth child,” she said.

No back on her feet, she’s throwing parties for others as the program director for Birthday dreams.

“Knowing that I had been there and knowing what a struggle it is for these families to provide, and to be able to celebrate the lives of their children. I was really excited to be a part of that,” Bates said.

Birthday Dreams has helped put on 1,300 parties in the last year.

“You know it’s about bringing joy to kids who otherwise have days that aren’t full of happiness,” said Regina Menssen, one of a thousand volunteers with the organization.

Q13 News is recognizing Chris Spahn and all the amazing workers and volunteers at Birthday Dreams for being true Changemakers in our community. If you’d like to get involved, visit their website. 

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