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Birthday Card Brigade!

What is the Birthday Card Brigade?

Our goal is to overwhelm our students with love & birthday cards on their birthdays.  This simple act of caring has such a huge impact on our students when they discover that so many people in the community care about them.  Here are some recent reactions from our students who have been birthday card brigaded:

            “There are hundreds of cards all over my bed!”
           “Can I write everyone a thank-you note?”

“I can't explain how grateful and happy I was to come home to millions of birthday cards. Thanks so much to everyone. You all made it even more amazing!!”

"Thank you so so so much!!! This is the best day ever! People are so sweet!!! These are more cards than I've received in my entire life!!!! I'm going to put them all on my wall! Look at this awesomeness!!!" (no exclamation marks added!)

"I've saved every card everyone has ever sent to me."


Who are your students?

Change the World RVA supports high school and college students in Richmond who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability.  We currently only Birthday Card Brigade students who are active participants in our program, for a total of approximately 20 students.

Who can join the Birthday Card Brigade?

Anyone who knows how to address an envelope and who can find a mailbox!  We encourage members to email their friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, anyone – inviting them to send cards to students as well.  The students love to receive cards from people in other states, too, so feel free to invite your distant friends and relatives!  There is no way students can get too many cards on their birthdays!

What do I do?

You will receive a “birthday alert” email from Debbie or Natalie with the name and address of a student and their birth date.  This email should arrive about a week to 10 days prior to the student’s birthday.  Then just send them a card!  Feel free to write a note of encouragement (all of our students are working hard at jobs, in school, etc.) and send good wishes on their birthday.  Whenever possible, we will try to include a little background information about the student in the alert email.


May I include money or a gift card?

You certainly do not have to include monetary gifts.  The students are thrilled just to receive the cards.  However, if you feel inclined to include a small amount of cash, a gift card, or a GRTC bus pass, the student will be delighted with that as well. 


To join the Birthday Card Brigade, please email Debbie Chichester.


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