“Families can feel isolated and alone and hope is powerful and intimate. We will not solve all their problems, but we want to get them through the next day. That builds their resilience to keep going. We want to be friendly, kind, and supportive. Those we serve are not just numbers. We are intentional about listening and creating a space for that hope.”– Megs Yunn, Founder and CEO of Beverly’s Birthdays
For ten years, Beverly’s Birthdays has provided birthday cheer and critical baby care items for children experiencing homelessness and families in need. Through seven unique program offerings, the organization creates positive and safe social and emotional spaces for families, but there is depth behind the birthdays that many are unaware of.
In the time between passing out the cupcakes, before and after shopping on their mobile fashion truck, the Beverly’s Birthdays team speaks with parents and finds ways to support them through celebrating their children. In these conversations, the team offers resources for financial stability, mental health, and security, and sometimes most importantly, a listening ear. They consistently go above and beyond for the families they serve, and the past few years of the pandemic have been no exception. In fact, 2021 was the highest year of services to date and the highest fundraising year at $2.1M in in-kind and financial support.
In 2020, the organization celebrated 8,000 birthdays. In the past 18 months, it provided 20 community baby showers in areas with poor maternal health statistics. During the earliest days of the pandemic, March to June 2020, it gathered and distributed $124,000 in baby basics, including 1,000 cans of formula, which some local food banks don’t stock, 4,284 packages of diapers, and 2,853 hygiene kits.
In addition, Beverly’s Birthdays expanded its service area from Allegheny and Westmoreland counties to include Fayette, Armstrong, Butler, Greene, and Washington. To operate safely, it moved outdoors, setting up its birthday mobile fashion truck and its 40 baby shower partners and providers in places like parking lots. They staggered birthday family visits to the celebrations to ensure social distancing and showered expectant parents with gifts of essentials.
As their work in the baby space has grown dramatically, Beverly’s Birthdays is excited to announce Beverly’s Babies, a division of Beverly’s Birthdays, with a focus on celebrating the very first “birth” day by providing resources and support during pregnancy and throughout the first year. In 2021, Beverly’s Birthdays provided resources to approximately 3,000 babies and parents. The organization now offers Itty Bitty Diaper Bags, the First-Year Cheer Referral Program to deliver necessities to parents after birth, and hosts free Community Baby Showers.
As their work clearly demonstrates, this team knows how to host a celebration. Join in on June 10th at the Duquesne Power Center for their Tenth Anniversary Gala where you can learn more about the exciting initiatives coming in 2022, celebrate like a kid again, and see for yourself the transformational effect of spreading hope. Visit www.beverlysbirthdays.org for more information.