October 31st, 2016 | Birthdays, Events, Funding, Giving, Kids, Upcoming Event

Give to the Max Day 2016, a celebration of generosity in Minnesota, is coming up on Thursday, Nov. 17. Throughout the day, you can donate to further the cause of Cheerful Givers: To help make birthdays special for children facing poverty and homelessness.

Give the Max Day Cheerful Givers

One of the hundreds of thousands of birthday bags we’ve assembled.

On Nov. 17, visit our Give to the Max Day page to help us assemble birthday bags to distribute in shelters throughout the Twin Cities area. Donating just $2 will provide crayons and a coloring book for a child on their birthday. Each gift of $10 will provide an entire gift bag for one child. $18 will put Happy Birthday pencils in 144 gift bags, and $120 will provide a birthday bag to one child each month for a whole year.

Want to help us fundraise even more? Click on the share buttons below to spread the word via Facebook, Twitter and email.

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October 27th, 2016 | Volunteers

We’re working tirelessly to get our new site up, and we wouldn’t be where we are today without the help of our volunteers! Rahul found out about Cheerful Givers and our need for a composition for our video and was quick to jump in and help. He loved our cause and wanted to be part of it. He is very professional and accomplished. Please contact him through his website if you have any music needs.

“Cheerful Givers is an inspirational organization that helps put smiles on the faces of many people. Its selfless volunteers work countless hours to improve the lives of others on a day-to-day basis. I was happy to be a part of this initiative in any capacity. I will always respect organizations like Cheerful Givers, as well as the work its members do for many people. I look forward to working with Cheerful Givers and other like-minded organizations in the future.”

Thank you, Rahul!

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October 27th, 2016 | Volunteers

Cheerful Givers was lucky to work with talented interns this summer. One of these smart, creative students was Sihai Zhu, currently enrolled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, pursuing a Masters of Fine Arts in Filmmaking.

It was great working with Sihai this summer. We had a great time on location videotaping our retired volunteers, agency representatives and corporate employee volunteers. We even got to meet a single mom who presented one of our gifts to her son for his birthday—that was awesome! It was a memorable summer and very special to share those moments with Sihai. She is very professional and has a great eye for how the scene will look on video. She is very kind and concerned about sharing our cheerful message with the world. Check out one of the videos she created here!

Cheerful Givers Video

“The Cheerful Givers internship was the most meaningful thing I did this summer. It was a good opportunity for me to use my filmmaking skills to show people what kind of organization Cheerful Givers is and how its grown in the last 22 years. My mission is to document the terrific stories behind this organization that most people would never know. This wasn’t just an internship, but a valuable life experience. Thank you, Robin Zelaya, for bringing me into this project and for creating one of the best organizations for children who live in poverty.”

Thank you, Sihai!

To learn more about volunteering for Cheerful Givers, visit our Get Involved page.

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October 27th, 2016 | Volunteers

David Chang is currently enrolled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Art in Comic Art. David used his illustration and comic expertise to create the “Birthday Rumble” comic/coloring book. Kids can download, print and color this superhero birthday comic from our website. David is very creative and imaginative, and puts a lot of effort into the projects he takes on. He can take an idea and turn it into a 25-page comic. If you need a comic book or out-of-this-world illustrations, contact David via email at dchang@mcad.edu.

Cheerful Givers comic book

Cheerful Givers Birthday Rumble coloring comic book

“At the very beginning of the project, I was thinking about what both boy and girl readers like. I came up with the ideas of a super hero and a super villain. I also decided to make them twins, so they would have the same birthday and have the ‘problem’ of getting a gifts for each other. The characters love each other, as siblings, but they also hate each other because under masks, they don’t know they’re enemies. There’s a heroic flip at the end of the story, when the twins learn they need to be on the same side and decide to both become super heroes and make sure kids throughout the world are recognized on their birthday.

The experience of creating this small comic book was very fun. I was very fortunate that Cheerful Givers gave me an opportunity to create something I love doing.

Thank you, David!

To learn more about volunteering for Cheerful Givers, visit our Get Involved page.

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October 27th, 2016 | Giving, Volunteers

Thanks to our wonderful summer interns, our website redesign is off to a great start! Stay tuned for a beautiful new Cheerful Givers website in the coming months. We wanted to pay a special tribute to these interns, college students who used their creativity and skills to help Cheerful Givers better tell our story.

Hayley McNab is currently enrolled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Art in Illustration. Hayley created several great animated gift cards for our website. Hayley was given a range of children’s age groups. Then she researched trends and came up with so many options that it was hard to choose which ones we wanted to have animated.

These cards are great for kids and adults—you’ll be able to email these very creative cards to the people you care about. Please check out her work on her website. If you need animated cards, Hayley will get the job done.

“I always had a love for greeting cards ever since I first starting drawing as a kid. The idea of bringing others happiness through the gift of art enchanted me greatly. Ever since, it’s been my childhood dream. Helping others has always been a big goal for me, and Cheerful Givers’ internship gave me the chance to lend a hand through animated art. I enjoyed learning so many new skills from this position over the summer, including animation, programming and professional presentation. Having freedom in creating characters for the cards was also great! It was encouraging to be able to experiment in different styles and personalities through each individual card.”

Thank you, Hayley!

To learn more about volunteering for Cheerful Givers, visit our Get Involved page.

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October 24th, 2016 | Birthdays, Book, Children, Kids

We have a brand new coloring book you can download, print and bring to life with color!

Cheerful Givers comic book

Cheerful Givers Birthday Rumble coloring comic book

David Chang, our summer intern who is currently enrolled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, created this fun comic book, “Birthday Rumble,” which tells the story of a rivaling superhero and super villain who happen to be twins.

Click here to download “Birthday Rumble,” print it out and color away!

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October 21st, 2016 | Children, Donations, Giving, Volunteers

There are so many ways to get involved in Cheerful Givers. Here’s a peak at how volunteers and donors of all ages have helped us provide birthday gifts for more than 1 million children.

 

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October 21st, 2016 | Giving, Volunteers

Thanks to our wonderful interns, our website redesign is off to a great start! Stay tuned for a beautiful new Cheerful Givers website in the coming months.

We wanted to pay a special tribute to these interns, college students who used their creativity and skills to develop greeting cards, make animated birthday cards, create a birthday-themed comic book, make new videos and even compose original music for our videos.

Up first is Jaclyn Erdman, currently enrolled at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, pursuing a Bachelors of Fine Art in Illustration. Jaclyn created a variety of birthday cards, thank-you cards, postcards and bumper stickers with her unique print and design style, all while capturing the cheerful look we were needed. Jaclyn is a great to work with, self-motivated and works very and efficiently. She even offered to volunteer at the warehouse! Check out her website and contact her for design inquiries.

Cheerful Givers card

“I wanted to intern with Cheerful Givers because it involved helping children in need while being able to gain more experience designing a variety of cards, coloring pages, post cards, stickers and animated GIFs for the organization. I really enjoyed learning about the nonprofit while having the creative freedom to design everything, as well as getting to know Robin while working at the warehouse. It was refreshing to meet someone who is passionate about making other people happy and who believes all kids deserve happy birthdays. To be a part of the creative team was such an honor!”

Thank you, Jaclyn!

To learn more about volunteering for Cheerful Givers, visit our Get Involved page.

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October 12th, 2016 | Donations, Giving

In late September, we spent a great day with the Cheerful Givers from Henry Schein Dental. Thanks to Regional Administrative Assistant Jillian Otternes, Cheerful Givers was invited to attend Henry Schein Dental’s annual Fall Festival, during which the company provided educational seminars and showcased the latest dental technologies.

This year, the planning committee decided to add a charitable component to the Fall Festival and invited vendors to make gift baskets for a raffle. All proceeds were given to Cheerful Givers’ Birthday Bag program. We’d like to say a special thank you to the six representatives and their companies who donated gift basket worth approximately $100.

  • John Angell, Sterisil: Minnesota Treats basket won by Steve Bejarano
  • Allison Bayless, VOCO: Date Night basket (Osaki and Movie gift cards) won by Stacy Christ
  • Rob Berg, Digital Doc: Hickory Farms basket won by Don Johnson
  • Carly Carlson, AKT: Wine Picnic basket won by Sean Parnell
  • Ayla Recel, Dexis: Vikings-themed cooler won by Jeff Erickson and given to our volunteer Jaelyn Martinez
  • Kate Tousignant, 3M: World Market basket won by Anette Boe

With tremendous energy and enthusiasm from Regional Manager Elizabeth Sullivan and her staff, Henry Schein Dental helped Cheerful Givers raise $664 from raffle ticket sales and donations. That means 66 more children will receive a HAPPY birthday gift, which will include a toothbrush, thanks to Heidi Briggs from Colgate.

We’d also like to thank Elizabeth, Jillian, Lizette and Jaelyn for their help in motivating participants to purchase raffle tickets

Finally, Henry Schein Dental and all your great attendees and vendors, thank you so much for being Cheerful Givers and for making HAPPY birthdays happen for children living in poverty.

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August 21st, 2016 | Birthdays, Children

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