What must it feel like to be so poor that you can’t even celebrate your own child’s birthday?

It was the question that Robin Maynard Steele asked herself the day she made a volunteer visit to the Trinity Mission Food Shelf in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1993. The food shelf normally kept a small supply of birthday items for needy parents who wanted to celebrate their children’s birthdays, but on the day of Robin’s visit, the shelves were bare. If disappointed parents were lucky, they would leave with a box of their child’s favorite cereal or canned vegetable.

Overwhelming compassion for Minnesota’s poverty-stricken children who were too poor to afford a birthday celebration moved Robin and her husband Kevin to action. Cheerful Givers, the nonprofit organization that exists “to brighten and celebrate the lives of families in need by providing toy-filled birthday gift bags for children who are homeless or living in poverty,” was born. With its birth would come the incredible growth of a phenomenon, one that not even its founders could begin to imagine.
This is the Cheerful Givers story…

We were approached with the idea of gathering the stories of those who have helped to make the organization what it is today as well as to create a call to action. We hope you will buy the book and perhaps even be inspired to become a Cheerful Giver.


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