Staci Yehl and her family started volunteering at Home Sweet Home in January 2011. She learned of Home Sweet Home through local churches and shopping at the Bloomington Mission Mart Thrift Store. The family wanted to give back to the community and teach their boys about community service. The Yehl’s first volunteer experience was helping with removal of all Christmas decorations in the shelter.
Later, God directed Staci to call Home Sweet Home with the idea of hosting a monthly birthday party for the children at Home Sweet Home. Staci has a background in childhood education and was excited to spend time with the children.
Staci started a Facebook page to find others willing to help with the donations of gifts for the parties or time helping at the parties. From that, several other volunteers have joined in helping with this monthly event, which is named "Blessed Birthdays."
All people involved in Bless Birthdays have discovered that not everyone gets to have the special memories of childhood birthday parties. Also, being involved in the Blessed Birthday parties has given them a deeper appreciation for the little things in life. Staci said it is obvious that the children whose birthday is being celebrated feel special and that their faces just light up.
The Blessed Birthday parties take place on the last Saturday of each month. Games and crafts are first on the agenda; then it is on to a cupcake with a candle, the birthday song, and gifts. All the children attending receive either a prize from the games or a craft they have made.
Be joyful in HOPE, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayerRomans 12:12