“We have an opportunity to love a child, a homeless child, a child that probably doesn’t know he or she is loved.”
– Myra Smith, CBRE Houston, Texas
Those passionate words from Myra Smith at our Women’s Networking Forum in 2001 launched an initiative that has become one of CBRE’s most cherished philanthropic programs—Birthday Cakes & More for Homeless Children.
A grassroots initiative, Birthday Cakes & More for Homeless Children started from Myra’s personal passion for helping homeless children in her hometown of Houston, Texas, where she was delivering birthday cakes to children at a local shelter, one cake for each child on their birthday. The program was immediately embraced by our Women’s Network and later adopted by the CBRE Foundation, which leveraged the passion of our employees to expand the program across the country.
Since its inception, Birthday Cakes & More for Homeless Children has delivered more than 8,600 cakes. The program also offers supplemental support through school supply donations, holiday parties, clothing drives and more.
According to The National Center on Family Homelessness, approximately 1.6 million American children experience homelessness each year. Many live with single mothers, who are busy trying to find work and provide food and shelter for their family. They often don’t have money for cakes and presents. Many shelters are able to provide housing, food and clothing to these families, but birthday cakes are a luxury they cannot afford.
CBRE wants to change that and provide an individual birthday cake to every homeless child in America. A simple gesture that gives a great deal of hope and joy to a child living in crisis, and shows them they are loved.
Currently, 53 shelters in 36 cities across the United States are participating in the program. Click here for a list of participating shelters and CBRE offices. Information for shelters that are interested in participated in the program can be found here. Finally, click here to read a few of the program's success stories.