Tracey Sternig, co-owner of Enliven.
September 19, 2017
Written by Katie Kuhn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
When a parent is struggling to provide the very basic necessities for their family, the expense of a birthday party is an extra many can’t afford. In response, United Way has created a volunteer opportunity to pack Birthday Bags for families served at our agency program partners.
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County describes the Birthday Bag Project in this way: The project brings corporate and group volunteers together to pack birthday celebration kits for children ages 3-12 throughout our community.
Each birthday bag goes to a child from one of our youth-serving funded agencies and includes items such as cake mix, frosting, candles and much more.
After hearing from a client who turned her birthday party into a Birthday Bag packing party, Tracy Sternig and Jamie Lynn Fritsch, the owners of Enliven, a full-service salon and spa with boutique style art gallery located in Whitefish Bay, accepted the challenge to impact the lives of children in our community.
“We decided to participate in Birthday Bags when one of our clients told me about her upcoming birthday party and how she was requesting Birthday Bags – instead of gifts – from her guests,” said Tracy. “My next thought was, "What are Birthday Bags"? The client explained the program to me and it really hit me; I had to fight to hold back tears. It woke me up to the reality that people in our community are really struggling, and when they struggle so do their children. I have such fond childhood memories of birthdays that it never even crossed my mind that not everyone lives that life.
“Packing Birthday Bags is a really easy and inexpensive way to let a child know that people are rooting for them. Enliven is located in a very family-oriented community, so I saw that we have an ability to reach a lot of people who care and we'd be able to make a real difference.
“Our business is located in a very family-oriented community, so I saw that we have an ability to reach a lot of people who care and we'd be able to make a real difference.
“We are so excited and talking it up to everyone and our clients are very excited as well. I really think we have the potential to raise 500+ bags!”
Learn more about the Birthday Bag Project and how you can get involved.
It’s United Way’s Season of Caring! Grab your colleagues or friends and sign up for one of hundreds of available volunteer projects in our community.