Poverty has no face. More than 35% of children in our Rockford community live in poverty. Rosie’s kids look like any other kids, they just have special circumstances. They are represented by families who work hard to make ends meet, children in foster care, homes with incarcerated parents, dysfunctional home environments and homeless children.
We believe that all children, no matter their circumstances, should be honored and made to feel special on the one day of the year that belongs just to them.
Rosie’s Birthday Club is an all-volunteer 501(c)3 non-profit organization that works with local community centers, churches, organizations and programs, such as Boys & Girls Club, to give a gift and a party to celebrate children who might not otherwise be celebrated.
WHO WE CELEBRATE
Children ages birth to 18
WHERE WE CELEBRATE
Blackhawk Boys & Girls Club
Fairgrounds Boys & Girls Club
McIntosh After School Program
Northwest Community Center
Orton Keyes Boys & Girls Club
Rock House Kids
Shelter Care Ministries
Washington Park Community Center
HOW WE CELEBRATE
Decorate Birthday Hats
Play games or do crafts
*At this time, we are unable to provide services to individuals
The History of Rosie’s Birthday Club
Rosemary Musick, my mother, had five children and designed each birthday to be special, from morning to night. It was a day of celebration, with a special meal and thoughtful gift chosen with love. All family members joined in with no excuse not to attend on this special day of recognition.
I thought all were celebrated this way until I met a mother who could not afford a special meal or gift for her young son. A bag of cookies and package of potato chips became his birthday gift. His mother went out of her way to recognize her son with this treat, since she was opposed to junk food in her low-income home. I felt badly for the mom who wanted to do more and the son who seemed to not be totally celebrated on his birthday.
Over the years, I met more and more children who had never been recognized on their birthday. As hard as it is to believe, I found that some children do not even know the date of their birth, because it has been treated with such insignificance throughout their lives. I also began to realize that the cookies and potato chips were not insignificant, as I previously thought, but represented love and recognition. For many of our children, Rosie’s present is the only gift they will receive.
Birthdays celebrate life and when acknowledged confirm that your life matters. When overlooked, children question if their life matters. We wanted to show children that their birthdays are important, no matter their circumstances. Rosie’s Birthday Club, Rosemary’s namesake, began in 2009 with a donation of $25 from a friend and celebrated one child at Northwest Community Center. Today we have expanded to 10 locations and have celebrated over 12,000 children.
Please help us continue to grow by volunteering or donating to celebrate the children who, through no fault of their own, are not recognized on their birthday. Please help us share with our kids that their birthdays matter, that their lives matter.
We can’t do it without you.
Are you available to pick up and deliver birthday cakes or balloons?
Do you have fun game ideas or like to take photos?
Consider yourself an artist and would like to help the kids color birthday hats or provide face painting during the parties?
Interested in hosting a party at one of our locations?
Rosie’s Birthday Club always needs more help and volunteers to help host parties or provide behind-the-scenes help.
The estimated volunteer time to host one of our parties is one hour.
Donations come in all sizes, and Rosie’s kids can benefit from all of them – toys or other items – and monetary donations.
A new book is provided with each gift. They are an essential part in promoting literacy development.
Adopt a Child $25
Gifts are purchased from their individual wishlists
Adopt a Party $100
This donation covers balloons and cake for a single party/location.
Adopt a Home Party $60
Includes a cake kit, book and present for our at-home program participants
Cake Kits $15
includes pan, oil, cake mix, sprinkles, candles and icing – just add eggs!