Our First Annual Birthday Bash
After a year of operating as a non-profit, we were finally able to receive our 501c3 charity status just days before our first birthday. We couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than throwing a birthday party for our youth- none of whom were able to celebrate their own birthdays throughout the year.
On October 19th, we loaded up a fleet of Lyfts and headed to Roswell, a half hour drive that took longer on a cold and rainy night. We are so thankful for Lyft and their donation of a custom 25 percent off coupon so our families didn’t have to take the bus and wait in the rain on a special day. We still would not have been able to make any of this event happen with Rickey Smiley’s donation to cover the costs of transportation, two and from the event. The youth’s excitement was hard to contain. We were off to experience Skyzone Roswell’s festive glow light bounce party. Skyzone is a national trampoline park chain that combines fitness with fun and creativity. They also are big believers in giving back and supporting their local community. They graciously donated the entire birthday party- including drinks and pizza, and their custom jump socks- all we had to do was fundraise to get the party on a weekend where it was more inclusive, and fill in the details like transportation costs and party favors.
If you’ve never been to a Skyzone, they really are something out of a child’s dream. Wall to wall trampolines, Slam dunk and dodgeball areas, and in this case, all under black light, creating an exciting buzz amongst our youth. Thanks to Skyzone Roswell’s kindness, our youth spent two hours with their friends, having a luxury they don’t often get- the privilege of just being a child in the moment having fun. They spent two hours bouncing and flipping, until they returned starving and ready for pizza. Thanks to Five Daughter’s Bakery, each child received their own gourmet birthday donut, with their own candles to blow out. We sang and celebrated, and were even able to give out gift bags with items like slime, cool sunglasses, lip balm and face masks, and more thanks to the support and donation by Le Petit Marche. SJAC food groups even donated kids meals to Zaxby’s.
None of this would have been remotely possible without our donors and sponsors. Thank you to each and every person who helped turn this idea into a positive memory for our youth. For one, it was their very first birthday party ever. It was a magical night full of community and love. A birthday party may seem like a small, ordinary thing- but those small, ordinary moments and experiences matter. A birthday party is a celebration of you, it’s an event of gratitude. Access and inclusion to these experiences , especially on a trauma- sensitive way, is paramount.