Tired of getting candles / scented lotions for your own birthday or sick of more plastic toys for your kids?  Take a look at this phenomenal program I discovered last year called Birthday Buddy. This is currently through the St. Louis Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition but anyone from anywhere can participate or see if your own local agency has a similar program.

You can make a foster child’s birthday wishes come true by registering to be a Birthday Buddy!  As a Birthday Buddy, you ask your guests to bring birthday presents to donate to a foster child in lieu of gifts for you or your own child. There are currently over 4000 children in foster care in St. Louis and most children spend at least 2 birthdays in foster care.

It couldn’t be easier to become a birthday buddy:

  • Select a Birthday Buddy from the list of foster children with upcoming birthdays;
  • Fill out a Donating Birthday Buddy Application
  • Send completed application to Shelley Thomas Benke by mail: 111 N. 7th Street, Ste. 402, St. Louis, MO  63101; or by fax at:  314.241.0715;
  • The Birthday Buddy coordinator will notify you within 5 business days that your Birthday Buddy match is confirmed;
  • After your event, you must agree deliver / mail the presents in a timely fashion to the Birthday Buddy Coordinator’s home in Sunset Hills.
  • I talked with my daughter about doing this and we came to a compromise. We would ask all the kids coming to her birthday party to bring gifts for the birthday buddy but family gifts would still be for her. We intentionally selected a same age but different gender buddy so that the gifts wouldn’t be so hard to part with. C’mon, she’s 5, not Mother Teresa. And when we did drop the gifts off,  she (nor I) couldn’t have been more excited.