Birthday Buddies

Make a foster child’s birthday wishes come true by becoming a Birthday Buddy! As a Birthday Buddy, you donate presents to a foster child who has been identified as likely to receive very few or no gifts for his/her birthday*. Sometimes children ask that their party guests bring a present for a foster child in lieu of a birthday gift for him/her. Other donors simply enjoy being a Birthday Buddy to brighten a foster child’s birthday.

To Become A Birthday Buddy

  1. Select a child from the list of foster children with upcoming birthdays (below).
  2. Fill out the form below.
  3. Drop off your gifts to a Birthday Buddy Coordinator’s home in Kirkwood, MO, or Bethalto, IL.

Children Needing Buddies

SHANIYA- 16 years old in March
Shaniya is outgoing and sociable. She is currently manger on the wrestling team and is planning on going out for lacrosse soon. She likes to get her hair done, sing, and watch TV (her two favorites are Law & Order and Chicago Med). She hopes to become a lawyer or a doctor someday.  Shaniya has been in foster care for 4 years. For her sweet sixteen, Shaniya has asked for gift cards – to Bath & Body Works, Walmart, restaurants, and the movie theater. To see that Shaniya gets her gifts in time for her birthday, they should be donated by Feb 21.

ANTHONY- 16 years old in March
Anthony had a lot of responsibilities before he came into foster care, like caring for his younger siblings. Now he’s learning that it’s okay to be a kid. He has become affectionate and appreciative of the new experiences he’s been able to have, like going shopping for clothes and going out to eat. Anthony’s favorite class is shop and he is looking forward to playing football. For his birthday, Anthony would really like a remote control car, some ‘cool’ ball caps (leave the stickers on), and Hot Wheels. He lost his Hot Wheels collection when he came into care. Some model kits would be a good gift as well, as long as the instructions aren’t too complicated. To make sure Anthony gets his gifts in time for his birthday, they should be delivered by February 26th.

LATASHA- 8 years old in March
Latasha is a sweet, funny, and loving young girl. She is energetic and the star in any room. She is a great student who has a vivid imagination. She wants to be a mermaid. She enjoys skating and playing games on the tablet. She has been in foster care for 17 months. For her birthday, Latasha would like to receive a mermaid tail (size small), posters of Jimmy Uso and Naomi, and a pair of skates (size 2). To reach Latasha in time for her birthday, gifts should be donated by March 1st.

LAWRENCE – 17 years old in March
Lawrence is an outgoing young man who is the captain of his school’s soccer team. He loves to hang out with his friends, watching movies and eating at fast food restaurants. Lawrence has been in foster care for over 6 years. For his birthday, Lawrence would love a gift card to Dick’s Sporting Goods so he could get a pair of soccer cleats (or you can pick out a pair for him, size 8). He would also love soccer shorts (size large) and gift cards to Subway, Qdoba, and Chipolte. To reach Lawrence in time for his birthday, gifts should be delivered by March 15.

MARISSA – 17 years old in March
Marissa is a loveable young woman who is a cheerleader and also plays an instrument in the band. She has a big heart and loves her family. Marissa has been in foster care for about 4 years. For her birthday, Marissa would love clothing (size large in tops, and size 9 in shoes), a make-up brush kit, false eyelashes and a heating pad. To reach Marissa in time for her birthday, gifts should be donated by March 6.

IRMA- 8 years old in March
Irma is a smart and bubbly young girl. She likes to draw, color, and play. Her favorite sport is soccer. She has been in care for 3 years. For her birthday, Irma would love art supplies. Anything to help her draw- markers, pencils, sketchpads. Soccer shin guards, socks and a pair of cleats (size 8) would be great too. She also would really enjoy a tablet to play games on. To make sure Irma gets her gifts in time for her birthday, they should be delivered by March 1st.

SERENITY- 15 years old in March
Serenity is very outgoing. She is on the yearbook committee and plans on going out for spring sports at school. She likes to sing and listen to music, as well as watch movies and do makeup. She also enjoys reading urban books. Serenity has been in foster care for 13 years. Serenity has all sorts of ideas about gifts she would enjoy for her birthday: a pair of Van’s black and white gym shoes (size women’s 9.5), an instant film mini camera, fuzzy socks, makeup, a purse, gift cards to a restaurant or to PINK by Victoria’s Secret. To see that Serenity receives her gifts in time for her birthday, they should be delivered by March 5.

LORELEI- 14 years old in April
Lorelei is nonverbal but that doesn’t stop her from knowing exactly what she wants and letting it be known! She is quite curious about things, is working hard in school, and is currently learning sign language. She also likes music and cartoons. For her birthday, Lorelei would love girly accessories like hats, gloves, and cool socks. But her happiest place in the world is “We Rock The Spectrum” in Fenton (636-529-8282). A gift certificate here would send her over the moon. To make sure Lorelei gets gifts in time for her birthday, they should be delivered by March 23.


AMERIE- 15 years old in March – matched with a Buddy!
Amerie is the epitome of a girly girl – she loves trendy clothing. She started high school this past year and is just loving it. She is a cheerleader and is involved in theater, all the while making almost straight A’s. (that math is a tricky subject!)  Amerie has been in foster care for three and a half years. There are tons of gift options for Amerie. Her favorite stores are PINK by Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. Gift cards to these stores would be great, or you could choose clothing for her from PINK (size XS pants and S tops) and anything vanilla scented from Bath & Body Works.  Amerie has really been wanting to get her nails done, so a gift card to a nail salon in Florissant would also make her day. To reach Amerie in time for her birthday, gifts should be delivered by March 2.

Sign-Up to Become a Birthday Buddy


Contact Shelley Thomas-Benke at 800.FOSTER.3 (314.367.8373) x2229. 

*We try to ensure that as many foster children as possible receive gifts on their birthday. On rare occasion, we may pull some of the gifts from an extremely generous donation to share with another foster child who has not been matched with a Birthday Buddy.