July 7th, 2016 | Book, Donations, Giving, News, Partners

We’re proud to announce a new partnership with Scholastic, which publishes children’s books and other educational materials. Thanks to Scholastic, Cheerful Givers is able to acquire books at a major discount. That means our gift bags now include high-quality, entertaining and educational books for children of all ages.

“We’re very fortunate to be able to include these books in our bags for children,” said Robin Zelaya, the founder and board chair of Cheerful Givers. “In addition to being educational, these books provide a bonding activity for parents and their children to enjoy together. In some cases, these books will be the first our little recipients will ever own, and we’re so happy to be able to provide that gift to them.”

Cheerful Givers book bag

A Cheerful Givers gift bag we put together with a book from Scholastic.

Later this year, Cheerful Givers will launch a corporate birthday bag program, which will allow corporations to choose which books they’d like included in the bags they help assemble. Stay tuned for more details!

For more information about forming a business partnership with Cheerful Givers, please visit our Give page.

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January 12th, 2016 | Birthdays, Corporate, Partners, Volunteers

FinalGroupPhoto_1_12_2016IMG_141341 new Thrivent Financial Reps from across the country took time during their week-long Academy to be part of an Action Team which assembled birthday bags for less fortunate children.  Reps were quick to embrace Thrivent’s purpose “to serve our members and society by guiding both to be wise with money and live generously.”

Everyone who participated is receiving a print of their group photo to put in their office as a great reminder of being a Cheerful Giver and living generously!

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January 8th, 2016 | Children, Donations, Giving, Partners

IMG_1327Who doesn’t love a teddy bear?

Cheerful Givers was thrilled to receive 240 more cuddly bears today from Go! Calendars & Games.

Thanks for bringing pure joy to a lot of kids!

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December 22nd, 2015 | Birthdays, Children, Corporate, Giving, Holidays, Kids, Partners, Press, Schools, Volunteers

photoCheerful Givers was honored to be featured on a recent WCCO-TV segment of Life to the Max — “a show that highlights stories of perseverance, tenacity and winning attitudes.”

Watch video here.

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December 16th, 2015 | Birthdays, Children, Giving, Kids, Partners, Volunteers

bestnorthbranchnextstepWe want to give a very special salute to the many special education students who we have chosen as our 2015 Volunteers-of-the-Year! Without their help, we never could have reached the milestone this year of having provided more than one million children with birthday gifts since Cheerful Givers began.

Each year, our Cheerful Givers Board of Directors has the challenging task of choosing someone to represent the many dedicated volunteers who are the essence of Cheerful Givers. This year, we decided to recognize all of the special education student groups who assemble our birthday bags.

In addition to these wonderful students, a huge thanks to their teachers and staff. Without their tremendous help and dedication, we never could have achieved all that we did this year.

Congratulations and Thanks to:

  • Best Transition Services, Burnsville
  • Bridges Transition Program, Andover
  • Cedar School, Eagan
  • Edison High School DCD, Minneapolis
  • North Branch High School, North Branch
  • Next Step Program, Woodbury
  • Southwest Metro, Shakopee
  • Transition Plus, Apple Valley
  • Transition Plus, Minneapolis
  • Vocational Evaluation & Training, Brooklyn Park
  • Waconia Transition Program, Waconia

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November 22nd, 2015 | Birthdays, Children, Corporate, Giving, Holidays, Kids, Partners

Vikings HelmetsBy Caroline Potolicchio

Riddell recognizes the tremendous amount of need in our communities and is committed to providing support where possible.

We are happy to support Cheerful Givers with our collectible mini football helmets.

Cheerful Givers Note:  Thanks to the great folks at Riddell!  If you have something to donate or know of someone who might, contact robin@cheerfulgivers.org


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October 5th, 2015 | Birthdays, Children, Giving, Partners

IMG_1104Forty-two nonprofit organizations, including food shelves, shelters and human service agencies, enjoyed the opportunity to pick up more than 5,000 of our birthday bags on Sept. 30th to distribute to the families they serve. Thanks to AMC Sales, Inc. for generously sharing their space to hold this event.

We hope to continue to periodically offer birthday bags for pick up by organizations who serve less fortunate children. We welcome new organizations to contact us about future distributions. Here are a few comments we received:

“Thank you so much, the kids in this neighborhood are very poor and needy.” Simpson Food Pantry

“This is such an amazing thing your organization is doing! This will be such a huge help for our families, especially the parents who reside in our shelter. Thank you!” Cornerstone

” We are located right in the middle of the inter-city. So, we have a lot of families below the poverty level.” Shiloh Temple Church

“Your birthday bags will be a blessing for families at our food shelf. ” Trinity Lutheran Church


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September 29th, 2015 | Birthdays, Corporate, Donations, Funding, Giving, Partners

TPI HospitalityThe 100% Employee Owned team at TPI Hospitality, a MN based hospitality company, chose Cheerful Givers as their charity to sponsor at a recent employee event.

Sean Twedt, General Manager of the Homewood Suites St. Louis Park, and an attendee at our recent Minnesota Twins pancake breakfast, suggested our organization to the team, and everyone voted for Cheerful Givers as their charity.  The employees created theme baskets and donations were raffled off during their event raising $3,575 which will be used to purchase birthday gifts for more than 350 less fortunate children.

Many thanks to all who participated!


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September 3rd, 2015 | Birthdays, Giving, Minnesota Twins, Partners


Minnesota Twins Brian Duensing, Chris Herrmann, and Joe Mauer hosted our 6th annual “Cheerful Givers Breakfast with the Minnesota Twins” on Aug. 29th at the Chart House Restaurant, where more than $35,000 was raised to provide birthday gifts for less fortunate children.  Guests enjoyed a pancake breakfast, asking questions of the players, participating in prize drawings for unique Twins items as well as a live auction followed by player autographs and photos.

IMG_4584Special guests included Rachel Latuff, Miss Minnesota 2015, and Rachel Weyandt, Minnesota’s Outstanding Teen 2015.

One highlight of the event was a short presentation by Teresa Haliburton, mother of Jordan, who is involved in one of the special education programs where the majority of our birthday bags are assembled.  Guests learned about the impact of Cheerful Givers not only on the recipients of birthday bags but on the givers as well.

Thanks to sponsors:  Microsoft, Thrivent Financial Stonebridge Group, Minnesota Twins Wives, Cheerful Givers Supporters, and three former Minnesota Twin families (Cuddyers, Morneaus & Thomes) who couldn’t attend, but allowed us to invite some of our special education students, parents and teachers.

Special thanks to Twins wives, Lisa Duensing, Shelby Herrmann, and Maddie Mauer for help in planning this event along with our fantastic volunteers!

Created with flickr slideshow.

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August 28th, 2015 | Birthdays, Corporate, Donations, Giving, Partners

neon_60_machineRecently received many fun items thanks to The Crane Guys, the largest independently owned Skill Crane Operator in the Upper Midwest and provider of vending services including stickers, super balls, trading cards, small toys, etc.

Jeff Theilmann, President, commented “I’m happy to be donating the items to Cheerful Givers. I think the kids will be smiling when they get them.”


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