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Article: #adessolistens | A Toy Drive in Support of Children's Birthday Miracles

#adessolistens | A Toy Drive in Support of Children's Birthday Miracles

#adessolistens | A Toy Drive in Support of Children's Birthday Miracles

At Adesso Man, we collectively believe our purpose on this planet is to elevate communities by helping people feel more confident through our brand, our network and our skills. It's the basis our company was founded upon, and for the last four years, Adesso has been committed to actively making a difference in the lives of the people around us — not just with our products, but also through charitable collaborations and community initiatives in Calgary and across the country.

In May, after many conversations with our community, customers, and loved ones, we launched #adessolistens — a multi-faceted campaign highlighting the societal pressures and challenges people face on daily basis, and gives voice to those who are usually not seen or heard. Over the past four months, through this initiative, we have formed partnerships with The Mustard Seed and carya, collectively raising more than $2500 in monetary support for the services these local non-profits provide Calgarians. You can learn more about #adessolistens here and here

This month, we've reached out to Children's Birthday Miracles (CBM), a Calgary-based nonprofit that has supported over 3,500 children across the globe since its inception in 2013. 

a woman is handing a birthday cake to her child

CBM was founded by Sheliza Kassam, when she was only 15 years old, as a way to ensure every child, regardless of socioeconomic factors, has the chance to celebrate their birthday. The local non-profit hosts birthday parties and provides everything from presents and cake to dress-up characters and goody bags. 

Kassam was inspired to launch CBM after she had an allergic reaction to the cake at her 12th birthday party. 

"I felt my birthday was ruined and I was blaming other people, more so than myself. And I said, ‘I’ll never have a good birthday again’. I felt apathetic and didn’t want to treasure the day anymore. The next year when I was thinking of my birthday, a part of me didn’t even want to have a party. My parents suggested I use my birthday as a way to give back.

I searched online and found Inn from the Cold and saw I could buy meals for homeless families. So for my 13th, 14th, and 15th birthdays I did that. But for my 16th I wanted something different. And the Inn didn’t have an opening anyway so it was a hint for me to do something bigger. I decided to create an organization. I contacted Inn from the Cold and told them of my idea. My parents weren’t for it at first because it’s a lot of work but I really wanted to do it. So it started in January 2013 and everything went from there."

Children's Birthday Miracles has since expanded the initiative to homeless shelters in cities across Canada. The organization has also held celebrations for cancer patients in hospitals.

"We honestly couldn’t have accomplished this much without the help of our donors and sponsors. The inspiring aspect of CBM is how we inspired teens and children across the globe to donate their birthday presents to a deserving cause." 

Sheliza Kassam, founder of Children's Birthday Miracles, high-fives two volunteers at CBM party

From now until October 5, you can support Children's Birthday Miracles through the #adessolistens toy drive by dropping off donations at both our Calgary locations in Southcentre Mall and Market Mall. We are aiming to collect 50+ toys for CBM along with enough supplies to sponsor a year of birthday parties. Here is what we are looking for: 

    • Toys for children between 1 - 12 years old 
    • Giftcards for children over the ages of 12
    • Happy Birthday signage 
    • Table liners and birthday decor 
    • Entertainment packages and/or in-kind donations for entertainment services such as magicians or clowns
    • Pre-made loot bags and/or loot bag items (nail polish, chapstick, bubbles, hair accessories, play dough, etc.) 

If you are considering donating a toy, we kindly that you do not purchase board games or toys that require more than one player as many children may not have siblings or the ability to invite friends over to play. If toys require batteries, please include them with your donation. 

“Every child deserves the opportunity to celebrate their birthday, but unfortunately, this isn’t a reality for many. With the impact COVID-19 has had on our economy, we understand that parents are under even more financial strain, which is why we are launching a city-wide toy drive in support of Children’s Birthday Miracles," explains Ayaz Raja, Co-Founder and Creative Director of Adesso Man.

A photo of Ayaz Raja laughing

"We want to do our part to ensure that no parent has to worry about finding the means to celebrate their child. And that every child has the chance to experience a birthday party." 

There are a number of other ways to help us on our mission to uplift our community. Support our brand through advocating for Adesso, purchasing our products and promoting and sharing our projects and initiatives on social media. You can also help us and your community by volunteering for, or donating to, organizations we support and being positive and loving towards everyone — regardless of circumstance.

“We believe we can create awareness around important issues and provide support for vulnerable groups of people, which will create hope for them in the future,” says Adesso CEO, Abdul Ahmed. 




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