Original story seen at stltoday.com
ROCKFORD, Ill. • Vicki Benson was shocked when she learned some children in Rockford have no birthday parties. They have no cake, no cards, no gift, not even an acknowledgement that they’re a year older.
To Benson, who grew up with a mom who made birthdays a daylong celebration, that situation had to be fixed. She had an idea — a birthday club for underprivileged kids — named after her mother, Rosemary Musick.
The plans for Rosie’s Birthday Club grew in Benson’s mind until one day three years ago, when a friend had heard enough. Barb Verni-Lau reached into her pocketbook, pulled out $25 and said, “Here. We’re going to the Northwest Community Center and we’re going to do it.”
That was the first party thrown by Rosie’s Birthday Club under the sponsorship of Benson and a group of volunteers. The monthly events are for kids at Northwest Community Center, Carlson and Second Congregational Boys and Girls clubs, Rock House Kids and Shelter Care Ministries. Last month, the club reached a milestone by celebrating birthday number 1,000.
[Rockford has the highest child poverty rate in the state at 34 percent. Chicago is second at 31 percent, according to a nonprofit group called Voices for Illinois Children.]
EDITOR’S NOTE: While we must focus on eradicating the root issues of poverty and pursuing social justice, it helps to simultaneously alleviate suffering and inject a bit of joy into others’ lives.
FULL STORY HERE: http://www.stltoday.com/news/state-and-regional/illlinois/a-birthday-club-for-children-who-don-t-get-parties/article_11ed7b80-4111-5e3d-be0b-82837aada951.html#ixzz20ixRNhKp