Sisters Place has a lot to be thankful for. We are grateful to you and the trustees of CBRE for your ongoing support of our resident families and staff. Financial support through the foundation community allows Sister Place to continue providing beneficial supportive services and safe, affordable housing to homeless single mothers (and one father) who make their home with us. Read more >>
Mary Parks, CSJ
Sister's Place, Inc.
The birthday cake was just delivered. Thank you so much for making that happen! The family had just moved in yesterday. The trauma of that and adding your birthday to that; knowing that you are more than liking not going to be able to get a cake or gift. What a wonderful gift your company provides to these children. This is one of the ways the children are able to experience normal childhood activities.
Thank you for your continued support of the children here at Memphis Family Shelter.
Children's Program Coordinator
Memphis Family Shelter
The Spring of Tampa Bay continues to be grateful to our friends at CBRE for the ongoing birthday cake deliveries for the children in our emergency shelter. This has been such a wonderful effort on your part. We recognize your dilgence in maintaining contact with the shelter about upcoming birthdays and your faithful trips between local bakeries and our shelter.
Young children often arrive at The Spring in the midst of extreme family crisis and upheavaL. The joys of a birthday celebration can sometimes be overshadowed by the tensions these youngsters see going on between parents or their partners. Because of your commitment to make sure that birthdays are observed in a spirit of fun and delight,. these special occasions are not forgotten and are celebrated with just as much joy in shelter as they might be in the familiar environment of home.
On behalf of the children who may be quietly wishing for an end to the violence at home as they blowout those birthday candles, just know that your support and advocacy on their behalf helps make those innocent wishes become lasting reality.
James B. Brace
Interim Executive Director
Director of Programs
The Spring of Tampa Bay, Inc.
I would like to thank you again for being able to get a birthday cake to the shelter on such short notice. The young man and his mother were so happy that they both cried. The young man stated he had never seen or received a birthday cake like that in his life. It was very emotional for the staff as well. I really appreciate the service your organization has provided our shelter families in a time of crisis. The impact it leaves on the children will never be forgotten. Thank you again from the bottom of my heart.
The Cathedral Center, Inc.
In conjunction with our Birthday Cakes for Homeless program through the Chicago Christian Industrial League Family Shelter, the Downtown Chicago office raised over $1,200 in order to purchase Halloween costumes for the 40 children currently living in the Shelter. Ranging in age from six months to sixteen years old, the kids would not have had costumes were it not for the program. On Wednesday, October 18th fourteen members of the office took the costumes to the kids. They were thrilled!
Below is a note from the Shelter.
I just wanted to thank you all once again for the amazing costumes. The kids really loved them and I can't wait to seen them on Halloween. We have sent the information to our webmaster and she will post the info. and pics on the site by next week- so keep an eye on that. Again, a million thanks. You guys are the best!"
Angela Burrows - Chicago, IL
I wanted to thank you and all of your coworkers who donated toys and such to Regina House. The residents were able to look through and take the items that they liked. They were all very thankful of your kindness. It may seem like such a small thing to donate clothing and toys, but we hope you understand how important it is to us and our residents. Please know how your thoughtfulness and support affects us here at Mercy House. Our residents seldom have had others think of them or look out for their best interest. They are amazed at your generosity. It is those such as yourselves that allow us to continue to serve others. Please let everyone know we appreciate them. So thank you very much!
I just wanted to share with all of you the rewarding experience that Nancy Cueva and I had last night when we attended the Sojourner Center Vanguard Awards. CBRE was awarded the Outstanding Contribution Award for 2006 for our contribution to their Child Development program. We had the opportunity to meet several of the Directors at the Center, and each one just gushed about how much they appreciate our birthday cakes. We were told over and over again what an impact this small contribution makes to the Moms and children who celebrate birthdays at the shelter. It seems like such a small charity project, but they were so appreciative. Suddenly the time we take to pick up and deliver those cakes seemed like a whole lot more -- we are touching individuals who really need a little joy in their lives.
As the director who presented the award put it ...
Birthday cake from Costco - $14.99
Gas to drive to the Sojourner Center - $2.50 a gallon
The smile on the face of a child when they see their own birthday cake - priceless!
Jeanne Olcott - Phoenix, AZ
We are preparing to to deliver our third cake and the entire office is extremely excited. I personally did not go with the group the first time we delivered however, I did go to deliver the second cake. The first cake was delivered during school hours so no children were there when the cake was delivered. The second cake we waited until after school hours to deliver. This is a shelter for children that have been taken out of their homes for reasons such as drug abusive parents, parents taken to jail, etc. Some of these children were actually born addicted to drugs and had to go through the entire process of becoming un-addicted. Pretty sad. They cannot give us last names and we are not allowed to take photos of the children. Very confidential.
As we walked in to deliver the 2nd cake, I was thrilled to see the eyes of the children light up. There were approximately 10 children present in the room and all just adorable. I asked if anyone in the room was having a birthday and the little girls whose birthday it was, raised her hand and said "It's my birthday!" She was so excited! Another little boy in the room yelled out that it was his birthday to (his birthday was in two weeks.) You could just tell that all the children knew about the program and knew that on their birthday they would be receiving a cake also. Seeing these children so excited at a time in their life that is horrible is so sad and yet you look at the love they are getting from the shelter and the entire community and you feel a sense of hope. It really is a very emotional thing.
The activity director took us for a tour of the entire shelter and explained how everything worked from donations to visitations. I have been involved in many volunteer situations in the past and this is by far the most rewarding and fulfilling.
Each time we have delivered we send an e-mail to the entire office to let them know they are welcome to go. We have had a broker attend and have several requests to make sure we have money in the fund to cover the costs. It's wonderful!
Ruth Braun - St. Louis, Missouri
Not too long ago, I was having a really bad day. Couldn't find the right outfit to wear, traffic was congested and backed up for miles causing me to be late for work. Brokers lined up outside my office with questions about one thing or another, the system was down, my phone was constantly ringing, and I had about twenty-five unread emails. Added to my anxiety, Kathleen called and asked me if I could pick up and deliver a cake, as another child had entered the shelter. I could feel my stress level rising and my anxiety reaching maximum proportions.
All the aggravation of the morning disappeared once I reached the shelter. Some very inquisitive children greeted me in the front lobby. "Is that cake for me"? "Whose birthday is it"? "Let me see the pretty cake". These questions were coming pretty fast and immediately my mood lifted, because I realized that a simple cake gave these kids such joy. I honestly do not know if I was having a hallmark moment, but I started crying. I was thankful to be wearing sunglasses, because the kids would have probably thought I was crazy.
Once in my vehicle, I immediately called my husband, because the 10 minutes that I spent delivering the cake put everything into perspective – I was more grateful for my life. The feeling that I have when I deliver a cake to the shelter is great! I know it is not easy to get away from the office, but making the time is so rewarding and well worth every minute.
Karen Gaydos - Baltimore, Maryland
I have to share with someone that will appreciate and understand. I delivered a cake tonight to the House of Ruth and this little girl about 3 ran up to me and just hugged my legs and didn't want to let go. I thought she might have been the birthday girl but no she told me she thought I came over to play with her. We played princess in the hallway. What a cutie pie she was. Her mother had to distract her for me to leave. :-) Trips like this one are always the most touching. I can't wait to share with my husband when he wakes up.
Karen Gaydos - Baltimore, Maryland
When I went to deliver a cake, a little girl named Kammy came up to me and said, "Is this cake for me?" I replied, "This cake is for a girl named Kammy; are you Kammy?" She said yes. So I gave her the cake and she hugged me and said thank you. I told her to stick her hand in and get a big chunk to eat, and she did. Her face was smeared with chocolate frosting.
Debra Smith - Oakbrook, Illinois
I received a phone call yesterday from the Shelter –
"We have a child in the shelter and his birthday is tomorrow."
I told her, "Absolutely, we will have a cake for the child. We will drop it off by 12:00," I said.
"His name is Liam," she said.
Now, what this means is that their was an emergency of some sort and this family is actually at the emergency shelter. Normally, when we deliver the cakes it is for a child that is in the program – where the charity is helping the family get back on their feet with job, housing etc.
I have been delivering cakes now since the start of the program, and I have never had the opportunity to hand the child their birthday cake…until today. I walked into the shelter and the director said Liam, this lady is for you. The little boy looked at me and I said, "I heard it is your birthday." He jumped off of the couch and came to the door and said, "My name is Liam and it's my birthday. I am 7 years old." His eyes were so wide and bright. I said, "then I think this is for you. Happy Birthday, Liam."
You would have thought I handed him a pile of gold. He was so excited and smiling from ear to ear. He kept saying it's my birthday and I am 7, while he was looking at his birthday cake.
He then put the cake down and game me a hug. It was all I could do to compose myself. I said, "Happy Birthday, Liam!" and I turned towards the door. Okay, okay we all know me, and that tough exterior I try so hard to maintain crumbled. By the time I got to my truck I was crying and extremely shaken. I made that little boy's day and let me tell you it was the most rewarding experience I have EVER had.
I wanted everyone to know that our efforts with this program are making some little kids very happy and I hope that some one else gets the same experience I just had.
Cathy Carone - Oak Brook, Illinois
I recently delivered two cakes to the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles, the largest homeless shelter in the US. In walking through the Women's side of the common seating and recreation area, I was astounded to see how many children there were; Nicole Wilson and I commented that there were so many more children now than ever before. I was delivering a cake for a young boy – 5 years of age, and was pleased to meet him and his three older siblings. His mother was seated bya new baby carriage and I congratulated her on her new baby boy, her 5th child. What was most amazing was that the child was three days old and that she was to not only responsible to take care if this newborn baby but also her other young children who were forced to act and behave beyond their years. We had a nice conversation and the more we talked the more I noticed more and more children encircling me to hear what I was saying. I quickly felt little arms qrapped around my legs and I bent down to say hello to this precious little face, a girl of maybe 4. She gave me the sweetest hug and quickly I felt the hugs and saw the smiles of about 10 little children trying to steal a hug. Dressed in a business suit, I now found myself on the floor from the weight the kids, laughing, talking and wanting to just know who I was and why I brought gifts and cakes on occasion. When you first walk into the Mission you can feel the weight of the people's troubles and smell the odors of the street life, but I truly forgot about all of that as I saw the promise and want in each of these children's faces. I called Nicole immediately after my experience and was so touched.
Natalie Bazarevitsch - Ontario, CA
There are two immediate memories that come to mind. First when I went in the middle of a snow storm last year with Ernie Jarvis to deliver two cakes. It took us over to two hours to get to the top of the road where the shelter is located. We were not able to get down the road as cars were sliding all over and the road was not accessible. Ernie and I were in our business suits and me in high heels…not quite sure how to get to the shelter and make sure the cakes were delivered on the day of the two children's birthday. After various attempts, we flagged down a school bus who happened to be going to the shelter. The driver offered to bring the cakes so their birthday's were not missed.
The other time I remember most was my first visit last Fall. I was delivering two cakes and both the kids happened to be there. I had brought candles and gathered a group together to sing happy birthday. The kids were so shy and yet very appreciative at the same time. The both boxed back up their cakes and said they wanted to wait until later to eat it so they could share it with their family's who were coming to the shelter later. I was touched that these kids wanted more to share with their families than to dive into the cake and eat!
Sherry Cushman - Washington, DC
I delivered my first cake to Cinsere in early April one evening after work. Along with his mother and friends at the shelter, we gathered around the cake and sang happy birthday to him. The kids all had a good time and it was a great first experience for me.
The real eye-opener, though, happened about three months later. I showed up at the shelter on a weekend to deliver another cake to a little girl. As I was waiting inside, Cinsere came down the hall with his mother and immediately ran up to me and gave me a hug. He had remembered that I was the one who delivered his birthday cake and was elated to see me again. It is apparent that delivering the cake had a profound impact on him, even though I was only there for a brief moment to present the cake and sing Happy Birthday.
There is no better reward that seeing how happy he was to see me back at the shelter – all because someone remembered his birthday and brought him a cake, and I am thankful that someone was me.
Ryan Miller - Tyson's Corner, Virginia
After delivering a birthday cake over the weekend, I received a frantic call from the shelter* on Monday asking if I could deliver another cake that day. Over the weekend a woman had arrived with her daughter who was turning one year old today. The mother saw that we delivered individual birthday cakes to the children at the shelter and really wanted one for her daughter's birthday.
Because it was a very busy day at work, I thought, "What's the rush? The little girl is only one year old. She wouldn't know if her birthday was today or next week." Then I realized that our birthday cakes were not only for the children but for their parent's too. This mother should be celebrating her daughter's first birthday with family and friends; laughing and taking memorable pictures of her daughter with cake and icing smeared all over her face. Instead, because of violence, she is living in a shelter not her home; celebrating with strangers not family.
Our cakes provide a feeling of "home" and "family," which was something I thought this mother needed right now. I rushed the cake over that afternoon. The next day I received a pleasant call from my contact at the shelter telling me how happy this mother was to be able to celebrate her daughter's first birthday.
Katherine Haug - Phoenix, Arizona
We have delivered cakes and presents to 3 glorious children (Janie, Lily, Joseph) who live at the Regina House shelter located in Santa Ana, California. We are proud to be supporting 8 children living at Regina House and 6 children being assisted by the Aftercare Program.
Regina House is one of several shelters offered by Mercy House [www.mercyhouse.net] which has been providing housing and support services to a variety of homeless populations since 1990.
Regina House is a six month transitional shelter for single employable women with children and is located at 1507 N. Bush Street in Santa Ana California 92701.
We have raised $2,866.00 for the Regina House to date of which $1,336.00 was donated during Jeans Day on March 10th of this year. Let me know when you will be here in September so I can coordinate a fundraising event with you as a guest .
Below is an e-mail I received from the Program Manager of Regina House after we had a toy and clothing drive.
I wanted to thank you and all of your coworkers who donated toys and such to Regina House. The residents were able to look through and take the items that they liked. They were all very thankful of your kindness. It may seem like such a small thing to donate clothing and toys, but we hope you understand how important it is to us and our residents. Please know how your thoughtfulness and support affects us here at Mercy House. Our residents seldom have had others think of them or look out for their best interest. They are amazed at your generosity. It is those such as yourselves that allow us to continue to serve others. Please let everyone know we appreciate them. So thank you very much! Carrie
Robert M. Bertucci - Newport Beach, CA