My Story

My idea for "Birthday in a Bag" was shaped by three personal stories, my passion for helping individual families, and my Mom’s success as one of Boston’s most reputable event planners. In many ways, “BdayinaBag” was born at the same time as me. In August 2005, when I was only 5 months old, Hurricane Katrina devastated the city of New Orleans. My Dad, a die-hard New England Patriots fan and music lover, had been to NOLA for Super Bowls and JazzFest, and my Mom had visited the French Quarter on a business trip. They both held a place in their hearts for the food, heritage, and kindness of the people of The Big Easy. After Katrina, rather than make a faceless donation to the Red Cross, they reached out to an organization they read about to ask if there was a specific family they could help recover. Through that connection, the introduction was made and the family was able to get back on their feet by sending them money for medical care, and food, as they battled back as New Orleanians do so well. While I did not understand this at such a young age, hearing about it from my family resonated with me.

Several years later, in December 2013, my parents connected with a single mom living near us in Boston. The next thing I knew, I was shopping for, making, and wrapping a full “Christmas in a car” for her children, and subsequently hand-delivering them to her a few days before Christmas. I was old enough to understand how much this meant to her and was forever touched by her tears of appreciation.

Fast forward to 2019, the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. I began volunteering at the local food pantry in town, donating, and packing food for those who did not have enough. One night, my mom called me into the TV room to show me a heartwarming but heartbreaking ABC nightly news segment she had taped. It was the story of a hard-working mother in Washington, DC with 3 young kids. Both she and her husband had lost jobs in restaurants shuttered by Covid, and the news story told how she took a bus 2 hours each way every day, to pick up meals for her children, while she and her husband managed on one meal a day. Through our tears, my Mom and I discussed helping her, and my Dad tracked down the producer and reporter of the news story and got us connected with the woman. It took a few days but we finally got her on the phone, and she had so much pride that she initially did not want our assistance. We were able to make her feel ok taking help, and we donated directly to her via Venmo. This is what she wrote to us; "thanks to you and your family so much. My kids will always remember this holiday and your family's kindness."

One day my mom asked me to help her create 100 bags of goodies she was making for a client’s birthday party, and it dawned on me, "what if I did something like this for the children?" We created and dropped off 25 sparkling bags of pure birthday fun, happiness, and of course cake, as we always say in our family, “everyone gets a cake on their birthday”. It was so important to me that the birthday bags look beautiful and fun, so they were seen by the children receiving them as a special birthday gift and surprise, rather than a hand-me-down from the pantry. After they were all passed out to kids on their big day, I got a note from the director of the food bank, who said, "They were an incredible hit! I honestly cannot remember kids being this excited by anything like this at the pantry before. Thank you so much for making them for us!" The results touched me, and while I could not personally donate and make birthday bags for other food pantries, I decided it was my goal to take this simple formula and act of kindness and help set up the same opportunity for kids all over the US. was born.

Our Recipe

The following items and instructions can be used to create your own Bday In A Bag for a child or family in need.

  • Colorful gender-neutral birthday bag. (Note: must be large enough to hold all the items.)
  • (8-10) Party Hats
  • (8-10) Paper Birthday Plates
  • (8-10) Paper Birthday Napkins
  • (8-10) or 1 Package of Balloons
  • (8-10) Party Horns or Blowers
  • Streamers (optional)
  • Box of Cake Mix
  • Container of Frosting
  • Sprinkles (or other fun edible item to decorate cake)
  • Box of Candles
  • Box or Bag of Candy
  • Crayons, Stickers or Coloring Book (optional)
  • Birthday in A Bag Hang Tag for Bags (optional)

Helpfull Hints!

Dollars stores often have great birthday themed gift bags, party plates, cups, balloons, streamers, coloring books, crayons, lollipops/candy, party hats etc. at a very low cost.

Buy in bulk wholesale to reduce your cost, then you can divide the items yourself into smaller quantities and place in individual clear bags.

Create labels to adhere to specific items you have packaged yourself.

Use bright fun colors.

Use gender neutral colors that can be used for boys or girls.

Include a fun birthday note.

Have Fun!
My Local Food Bank

Your local food pantry and the kids it feeds need you on Bdays! If you would like to put together "BDayinaBag" for the food pantry near you, the following are instructions and some guidance on how to go about it.

First, Google "Local Food Pantry ______ (your town or city). Most will have a website that you can access, and list the Director and a contact email and telephone number. Once you have that, be proactive. Pick up the Phone, or email the Food Pantry. The below script is what we suggest.

Dear ———-

My name is ———- and I am an ambassador for BdayinaBag,, a program where we provide food pantries with celebratory birthday themed bags with all the components to create a birthday party. Our mission is that every child deserves a birthday party. We donate the items, package the bags, and deliver them to the food pantry, turnkey. Please let me know how many you would like to start (we usually recommend 10-25 initially) and the best day and time to deliver them. We hope we can make every child who comes to your pantry a happy birthday memory.

Find a food bank near me where I can participate:
Contact Us

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