1)  What shelters do you work with and can you provide some details about when parties are held, the number of children who attend parties, etc.?

Below is a table of information about each of the shelters we currently work with and some details about parties at each.

Name of shelter



When party is held

Average # of kids at party

Ages of children who attend parties

Marrilac Family Shelter


Close to Crossgates Mall

3rd Saturday

~20 children

Ages 1 to 13

City Mission


Across the street from Proctors’ parking lot

2nd Saturday

~10 children

Ages 1 to 13

Schuyler Inn



4th Saturday

25-35 children

Ages 1-13


2)  I work at a program that serves low-income youth.  Could we partner with Jazzy Sun Birthdays to bring parties to the children we serve?

We would love to discuss the possibility of forming new partnerships to make even more deserving youth feel like kings and queens for a day!  Please email us and let us know the name and phone number of the person at your program/organization to whom we should reach out.


3)  If I wanted to volunteer at a party, what is the time commitment?

We generally ask on-site volunteers to arrive at the shelter no later than 10:15am and plan to stay until about 1:30pm. The time at the shelter includes setting up the party room, participating in the party, and cleaning up after the party.


4)  What do on-site volunteers do?

On-site volunteers help decorate the party room to ensure that it looks festive and interact with the children during the party to show them a good time!  They work with the children on arts and crafts projects, do face painting, put on temporary tattoos, serve pizza and juice, play games, serve cake and give out goody bags to guests and gifts to the birthday children.   They help clean up after the party ends as well.


5)  Is there a minimum age children need to be to volunteer at a party? 

We usually recommend that children be at least 9 years old to volunteer at a party since by this age, they are more likely to understand that they are not guests at the party but are there to help out.  Also, sometimes parties can be quite crowded and noisy which might be overwhelming and over-stimulating for younger children.  I ask parents wanting to bring young children to talk with me first about the pros and cons of doing so before they make a decision.


6)  Do you allow groups to volunteer?

Of course!  We love when groups volunteer, particularly since they often take on a larger role in the party-planning process.  Usually, when groups of people volunteer, we ask if they can provide goody bags and come up with the arts and crafts activities and games.  Some groups commit to bringing cakes, gifts, paper products and pizza although this is not required.


7)  What are popular themes?

You name it, we’ve done it!  Our most popular themes have been Paw Patrol, Mickey/Minnie Mouse, Disney Princesses, Monster High, Spiderman, WWE, Frozen, Shopkins, and Cars.


8)  Do you have a cake for each birthday child?

We try to give each birthday child their own cake but whether we are able to do so depends on the number of birthday children at a particular party and our ability to get enough people to make the number of cakes we need.


9)  Are the pizzas donated?

For our parties in Menands, we are fortunate to have a pizzeria that donates pizzas for the parties every month.  For parties in other locations, we have a few pizzerias that donate once or twice a year.  However, there have been some occasions we have had to pay for them so we love to receive pizzeria gift cards!


10)  What is a typical party schedule?

We generally follow the schedule below but sometimes vary it based on the ages and mix of children in the room.


10:15-11 Decorate party room

11-11:10 Put birthday badges on birthday kids and name tags on guests

11:10-11:45 Arts and crafts, face painting, tattooing

11:45-12:15 Pizza/juice

12:15-12:30 Games

12:30-12:45 Each birthday child cuts his/her cake separately & guests eat cake

12:45-1  Hand out goody bags; guests leave

1-1:30 Only birthday children & families remain to open gifts; volunteers clean up party room

11) How can I get involved if I’m unable to volunteer at parties?

There are multitude of ways to get involved!  Here are some ideas:

                  -Donate leftover themed party supplies and paper products

                  -Donate gifts your child never opened/used

                  -Donate gently used/like new books

                  -Bake themed cakes

                  -Help with posting “good news” articles to Facebook page and Twitter account

                  -Help with database creation, website, etc.

                  -Approach pizzerias and businesses selling toys, books and party products for donations

                  -Serve as a shelter coordinator

                  -Share Jazzy Sun Birthdays with schools and community organizations with which you are involved

                  -Purchase new gifts or “like new” books when they are on sale in stores, online or from garage sales

                  -Lead a committee (fundraising, volunteer recruitment, public relations, etc.)

                  -Provide expertise in incorporating a non-profit (if you have experience with this)


12)  Where can I drop off donations? 


Please email us to determine where to drop off donations.


13)  How can I make a financial donation to Jazzy Sun Birthdays?


Jazzy Sun Birthdays is not yet incorporated as a non-profit organization.  However, St. Catherine’s Center for Children, one of our partners is willing to accept donations on our behalf.  You can donate using their online donation form and noting in the comments section “Jazzy Sun Birthdays”.  Click here to donate online.

If you’d prefer to write and mail a check, you may make it out to “St. Catherine’s Center for Children” but please be sure to write on the memo line “Jazzy Sun Birthdays”.  Checks can be mailed to Joanne Morehouse-Gambino, Director of Development, St. Catherine’s Center for Children, 40 North Main Avenue, Albany, NY 12203.