cheerful-givers.jpgImagine a child who watches a friend receiving a pile of presents from his parents, but then remembers that his own family is too poor to buy gifts when his birthday arrives.

Economic woes have devastated so many people, and as the rate of poverty rises, so  does the number of kids who go without being recognized on their one special day. Whenever a group called Cheerful Givers steps in, parents are given the joy that goes with handing to their own children a colorful birthday bag of gifts.

Since 1994, the non-profit organization has provided toy-filled gift bags to over 300,000 less fortunate children. Each bag contains an assortment of small toys, books, and candy treats and are distributed to shelters and food shelves so that parents are able to give the gift to their child themselves and family bonds can be strengthened.

Throughout the month of August, Cheerful Givers is holding their first online “Social Summer” fundraiser with the goal of harnessing the power of social media. Simple links have been set up for use on Facebook, Twitter, Myspace,  and blogs for use in helping to spread the word about the group.

“Yesterday we received a small donation from a guy in Ireland who learned about us from a friend in Philadelphia who posted our link on her Facebook,” said Karen Kitchel, President of Cheerful Givers.  “He said, ‘I think it’s good to give donations to worthy causes anywhere; I only wish I wasn’t living paycheck to paycheck so I could give more.’”

Half-way through the month, the campaign already raised 50% of their goal of collecting $1,000.

“While the need is much greater,” Kitchel noted, “we wanted to try this concept in hopes of generating a greater amount of future funding in this way.  Our goal for this year is to provide birthday gifts to 50,000 less fortunate kids, and to do that we need the support of many.”

Visit for more info or to make a donation.


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