The Neighborhood Grant recognizes community impact that Birthday Wishes Ministry has had in supporting financially challenged Brunswick County families by providing educational birthday gifts to Brunswick County children.
As part of The Starbucks Foundation’s Neighborhood Grants program, Birthday Wishes was selected to receive a $1,000 grant. This grant award is thanks to a nomination(s) from a local Starbucks partner (employee) who recognized the work of the organization in Brunswick County with children. Through this unique program, The Starbucks Foundation invites Starbucks partners to nominate a local organization in their community. Since 2019, more than 10,000 grants have been awarded to local organizations, amounting to more than $15 million.
The Starbucks Foundation’s Neighborhood Grants program supports grassroots, community-led nonprofit organizations through catalytic investments in the form of grants. Neighborhood Grants also help build sustained local impact and inspire increased partner (employee) engagement with nonprofit organizations that work in their communities. “Our partners (employees) know their communities best, and have shared great insights about the organizations helping to uplift others in their neighborhoods, from supporting youth and families to fighting hunger and promoting environmental stewardship,” said Alicia Vermaele, executive director of The Starbucks Foundation. “Through our latest round of Neighborhood Grants, we’re proud to support local organizations nominated by Starbucks partners who make our communities stronger.” Learn more about the Neighborhood Grants program at Starbucks Stories.
"We’re excited to continue our work in our community with help from a Neighborhood Grant from The @Starbucks Foundation. This grant will help us bring more birthday smiles to children in Brunswick County," said Jill Leach, founder and CEO of Birthday Wishes Ministry.
Birthday Wishes Ministry
Birthday Wishes Ministry is a 501(3)(c) non-profit program founded in 2021. Its mission is to provide birthday gifts to underprivileged children. It began when founder, Jill Leach, was helping local families purchase Christmas gifts. A family asked Jill if one of the Christmas gifts could be wrapped in birthday paper as they had not purchased a birthday gift yet. The family could barely cover their rent that month and did not know how they would provide a birthday gift for their child. It was then that Jill knew this was the path God intended for her, thus, BWM was born with the intent to bring joy to local children on their special day.
The Starbucks Foundation
The Starbucks Foundation strengthens humanity by transforming lives across the world, with a focus on enabling community resiliency and prosperity and uplifting communities affected by disaster. Established in 1997, The Starbucks Foundation is a Section 501(c)(3) charitable organization under U.S. law. Learn more at Starbucks Stories.
Brunswick Family Assistance (“BFA”) and Birthday Wishes Ministry (“BWM”) announced a new collaboration to address the needs of low-income families in Brunswick County. This collaboration brings together these two local non-profit organizations for the first time. BFA has been providing families in need with critical services for more than 40 years while BWM has worked closely with Brunswick County Schools to provide educational gifts to more than 500 elementary aged students since its inception in 2021.
Beginning in August, families receiving services from BFA who have a child with a birthday the following month will be given a Birthday Wishes Ministry Gift Voucher by BFA staff. Then, on the first Monday of each month (or Tuesday if there is a holiday) starting in September, BWM volunteers will be onsite at the BFA Bolivia office from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to distribute birthday gifts to each family upon receipt of their voucher. The gifts will be wrapped and include a hand-made birthday card. While the BWM volunteers welcome the opportunity to personally meet the families, if a family is not able to make the first Monday distribution, they can redeem the voucher with BFA staff and receive the gift at another time that month.
Southport Sass Boutique has graciously offered to sell two inspirational T-shirts with proceeds benefiting Birthday Wishes Ministry. Thank you, Taylor!
For more about how to buy a T-shirt and help a child have a Happy Birthday, please visit the Southport Sass Online Boutique.
St. James Service presented Deborah Edwards, Vice President of Birthday Wishes with a check for $1,000 as part of their grant program. The St. James Service Club, Inc. is a non-profit corporation dedicated to identifying and supporting the needs of our community though volunteer participation and fund raising.
The Club has a very disciplined process of vetting Brunswick County non-profit organizations. Each organization is personally visited, and their needs are identified. Organizations submit grant applications each year for consideration. The Service Club Board of Directors, with the guidance of the Community Organization Chair, determine the recipients and the grant amount.
Birthday Wishes Ministry was awarded $1,000 from Sacred Heart Catholic Church's Ladies Guild as part of their yearly donation program to local non-profits.
The Ladies Guild mission is to promote fellowship among the women of the parish and enhance their spiritual growth by prayer and activities that facilitate charitable works through assistance to community organizations.
Birthday Wishes Ministry was awarded $2,500 from FOCUS Broadband. The funds are part of the cooperative's grant program, which has awarded more than $1 million dollars in community and education grants since its inception in 2006. A spokesperson from FOCUS Broadband commented on the organization's grant program saying, "We're honored to award community grants to these deserving non-profits. Each organization plays a critical role in supporting the members of our community and we are proud to provide them with resources to help expand their impact."
Birthday Wishes Ministry was awarded $1,000 from BEMC CommUnity Grants. Since 2003, Brunswick Electric has provided grants to community groups and non-profit organizations that make a difference in the lives of our members through the Community Grants program. This program's funding comes from the equipment auction during the B
EMC Annual Meeting. Since its inception, nearly $685,000 has been given back to the community through this program.
Our founder, Jill Leach, received NSDAR's Community Service Award for her nonprofit Birthday Wishes Ministry for children. She was nominated by Brunswick Town Chapter NSDAR, and presented with the award at the chapter's May meeting.
Daughters of the American Revolution is a service organization founded in 1890 for women who can prove direct, blood lineage from a Revolutionary War Patriot. The organization promotes patriotism, education and historic preservation.