By Dawn Pearson
Megan Wilcop believes that birthday parties are one of life’s necessities because they can build self-esteem, friendships and memories that last a lifetime.
That’s why the Home Place resident launched a local chapter of Box of Balloons, a nonprofit that makes it possible for children in need to celebrate their birthday in style.
Box of Balloons started in Wisconsin a few years ago and has grown to include 26 chapters in 15 states.
“We believe that every child should be celebrated on their birthday despite their current living or financial situations,” Wilcop said. “Our boxes include everything a child would need to celebrate his or her birthday with family and friends, including cupcakes, decorations, plates and napkins, party favors, a game or activity and a gift for that child. All of our boxes are personalized to the desires and wishes of each child. Spiderman, Legos, Doc McStuffins and Shopkins have been popular party themes.”
Box of Balloons works with elementary schools, social workers, domestic abuse shelters and homeless organizations to help identify children age 12 and younger who could benefit from the program. The child advocate helps define the child’s wishes for their birthday box and delivers the box to the child on or before their birthday.
Wilcop said she’s seen Box of Balloons grow and thought it would be a good fit in the Carmel area.
“I’ve always been a party enthusiast,” Wilcop said. “I love all of the details and the creative end of party planning, but I also just love making people feel loved, celebrated and appreciated. Box of Balloons is a perfect fit because my daughter can be a part of it as well.”
Wilcop said that there are many ways to be a part of Box of Balloons, which is what attracted her to the program.
“As a mom, I know how easy it is to over-commit but also want to help out whenever I can. Some days I have time to create personalized party decorations, and other days I’m lucky enough to get dinner on the table and the laundry done,” she said.
Box of Balloons offers several ways for supporters to help. They can:
- Volunteer to receive emails with a list of items needed for each box
- Sign up to “Build a Box”
- Support the mission financially by pledging a birthday or making a monetary donation
For more information and to learn how to volunteer, visit boxofballoons.org and select the Indianapolis chapter. To become a partner, email Megan Wilcop at email@example.com.