SWCF celebrates 10 year anniversary

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 26, 2006

To celebrate their 10th anniversary, the Southern Women&8217;s Committee of Fifty is spreading birthday cheer to foster and adoptive children in Shelby County.

The &8220;Birthday Wish&8221; program was started by the Southern Women&8217;s Committee of Fifty to help give foster and adopted children a special day designed just for them on their birthday.

Nancy Harris, president of the committee, explained foster families with many adopted children often times don&8217;t have money to celebrate each child on their individual birthday. Thus, &8220;They don&8217;t get one chance during the year to feel special.&8221;

By joining with the Alabama Foster and Adoptive Parents Association, the committee of women will donate $100 per child to parents of foster and adopted children for presents, a cake or classroom goodies on each child&8217;s birthday.

The Alabama Foster and Adoptive Parents Association is a non-profit group with representatives working through liaisons in every county who are in direct contact with foster and adoptive parents. Through the association, Harris hopes to partner with other clubs and associations that will sponsor the program. &8220;We&8217;d like to have one club in each county whose charity is the Birthday Wish,&8221; she said.

Helping to promote the &8220;Birthday Wish&8221; and form new partnerships are First Lady Patsy Riley and Alabama Department of Human Resources commissioner, Page Walley. &8220;They are trying to take this state-wide,&8221; Harris said. Riley is writing letters to clubs and organizations in each county who support such charities, and Walley signed a letter sent to the DHR directors in the counties.

By spreading the &8220;Birthday Wish&8221; program statewide, Harris said parents of foster and adoptive children around the state would receive financial aid to &8220;make the foster children feel special,&8221; since every day expenditure on children in a large family is already expensive.

She added, &8220;When children start first grade, some of them don&8217;t know the birthday song, and if you set the cake in front of them, they don&8217;t know to blow out the candles.&8221; Now, thanks to Harris and the Committee of Fifty, foster children in Shelby County, South Jefferson and more areas to come will celebrate their very own birthday with sugary smiles.