Birthday Dreams Program

Caregiver extends compassion and concern to homeless children

2016MLA-PSMS-BirthdayDreamsPartyBirthday Dreams is a nonprofit organization based in Renton, Wash., near Providence Health & Services headquarters. Its mission is to provide birthday parties for homeless children, complete with cake, balloons, streamers, games, party hats and gifts.

SuTania Jackson is a clinical project manager at Providence’s Renton office who has become a dedicated volunteer for Birthday Dreams. SuTania is a mom with three children of her own. When she heard about Birthday Dreams, she was immediately able to empathize with parents who can’t give their children a happy birthday.

“I am able to provide my own children with birthday parties every year. Not all families have the means to do that; if you are homeless, a birthday party is not going to be a big priority. But a birthday is a very big deal to a child, regardless of their circumstances,” she said.

Homelessness is on the rise in Western Washington, and area shelters are usually at capacity. The shelters provide clients with necessities, but don’t have funds to cover extras such as parties.

For a time, SuTania served as Birthday Dreams’ marketing and communications coordinator. In that role, she led monthly committee meetings, helped organize the group’s gala fundraising event, spoke about the program at community events and became the charity’s representative to the local chamber of commerce.

She is now focused on organizing and supporting the actual parties, which may be held at a homeless shelter or at a community organization’s facility. Birthday Dreams works with homeless shelters and community groups throughout Washington’s Puget Sound area.

For her dedication to homeless children, SuTania is a nominee for the 2016 Providence Mission Leadership Award.

Learn more about Birthday Dreams in this 2:30 video