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Kansas City nonprofit wants happy birthdays for disadvantaged kids

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Young child of color prepares to blow out the candle in the cupcake he is holding from a trayful of cupcakes, all with lit candles
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Birthday Connections is a resource allowing underserved families in Kansas City’s urban core to provide their children with meaningful birthdays.

For low-income families, it can be incredibly difficult to celebrate their children’s birthdays.

Families may go to extremes to provide a meaningful celebration for their children by taking out payday loans, borrowing from family and friends or foregoing paying rent and utility bills. Parents even resort to skipping meals to stretch the food budget in order to put aside money for a child’s upcoming birthday.

Birthday Connections hopes to change that. The new Kansas City-area nonprofit aims to provide the means for children to experience the birthday of their dreams.

"The kids, the families, they're going through trauma and chaos and to go without celebrating can be very damaging to a child," says Benita Webber, founder of Birthday Connections. "We know and we see from research the importance for a child to celebrate their birthday".

  • Benita Webber, founder of Birthday Connections
  • Alexis Turner, children's case manager at the Rosebrook Center
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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As Up To Date’s associate producer, I construct daily conversations that give our listeners context to the issues of our time. I strive to provide a platform that holds those in power accountable, while also spotlighting the voices of Kansas City’s creatives and visionaries that may otherwise go unheard. Email me at zach@kcur.org.
Reginald David is an assistant producer with Up To Date. You can reach him at reginalddavid@kcur.org.