Sometimes the universe brings individuals together that make magic happen…
Bronxite Jackie Perez is one of those people who gets an idea and goes for it. When she’s not at her 9-5 at a law firm downtown, she’s spending her free time uptown in the Bronx perfecting the various hobbies that have peaked her interest. On any given weekend you’ll find her practicing her roller skating, learning the ukulele, or trying out a new knitting technique. But there is one hobby in particular that she has began to use for a great cause- balloon twisting.
When it comes to birthday parties, balloon animals are always a hit. But Jackie knew from her own experience of homelessness that children in shelters don’t always get to experience a birthday party, much less the awesome addition of a balloon twister. So she decided that she wanted to contribute her skill to bringing monthly birthday parties to children currently residing in shelters. First step was connecting with a local shelter that would be interested in her idea.
In came Richard Vasquez, Employment and Recreational Specialist for ACACIA NETWORK, who runs a local family shelter in the Bronx. Richard is another individual who brings ideas to life, and immediately embraced the idea. By the end of their first conversation they had already planned a Halloween party with pizza, balloon twisting, and face painting.
For now, Jackie is starting with holiday parties as a way to celebrate all of the kids born in that season. She hopes to eventually be able to throw a monthly party to celebrate birthdays in that month. Their first party was a huge success, and they’re currently planning a Christmas party next. Thanks to the help of friends and other members in the community, there is already enough money set aside for a magician for the December party. They are hoping to continue to have support from the community in order to host parties throughout the year to celebrate all of the children’s birthdays. Whether it be pizza donated from a nearby pizza shop, a cake from a local bakery, or donations to help pay for entertainment and supplies.
To connect with Jackie and Rich, email [email protected] Paypal donations can also be sent to this email.
Do you want to highlight someone doing amazing things in the Bronx? Let us know! We’d love to feature them!