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Press Release: September 18, 2013
Habitot Children's Museum
Media Contacts:
Lauren, Development and marketing Manager (510) 647-1111 x31 and
Gina Moreland, Executive Director (510) 647-1111 x11
Public Information: (510) 647-1111
Images: available




(Berkeley, CA) December 20, 2013

On December 17, 2013, Habitot Children’s Museum launched an Indiegogo funding campaign to raise $7,500 to offer Habitot birthday parties to the homeless families participating in the museum’s At Home at Habitot program:

The campaign will run from December 17 through the end of January 2014.

Children have been enjoying memorable birthdays at Habitot since the museum opened in 1998. But of the 1 in 45 US children who experience homelessness each year, most don’t get to experience the kind of birthdays kids like to remember. For many, their birthday is simply another reminder of how tough life can be living in shelters. Their parents want to offer these children a special birthday, but often the stress and trauma of day-to-day survival get in the way.

The idea for this campaign was born when Rachel Kadner, Habitot’s Parenting and Community Partnerships manager, noticed that the homeless families she worked with were taking flyers about and inquiring into Habitot parties. Two of Habitot’s Board Members, Joanne McKinlay and Ava Kelly, decided to take initiative on a crowd-sourcing campaign to give these families the quintessential childhood experience they dreamed of for their children: a very special birthday.

At Home At Habitot is Habitot's outreach and inclusion program for homeless families. In 2013, Habitot partnered with four local homeless shelters and served 27 families. We have a six-year track record of helping this vulnerable community back into the mainstream of families raising young children, providing a fun, safe and nurturing place to play, to re-establish bonds and to experience joy together. On each visit, families receive food, books, clothing, toys (all donated by other agencies) and a huge amount of love.

“Every child deserves to have at least one day, their own special day, where all the love and attention is centered on them, “says Joanne McKinlay about her inspiration for spearheading this campaign. Habitot hopes that the East Bay community will agree and support its effort to make birthday wishes come true for homeless children this holiday season.

About Habitot Children's Museum

Habitot Children's Museum was founded in 1992 to meet the unique needs of infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Habitot’s mission is to help the broad community of parents and caregivers raise curious, creative and confident children with dedicated programs for children with special needs, teen parents, formerly incarcerated mothers, and homeless families. Hands-on exhibits and programs focus exclusively on early childhood, ages 0-5.

Since opening 15 years ago in 1998, Habitot has welcomed almost 1,000,000 visitors, filling a niche for new parents and caregivers who seek safe and enriching experiences for young children, with parenting support, a toy lending library, affordable music and art classes, immersive learning exhibits, and a drop-in Art Studio.

Habitot Children’s Museum has been recognized as the “best museum for families” by Bay Area Parent Magazine readers. In addition, Habitot’s founder, Gina Moreland, has been honored with a Bay Area “Jefferson Award”, and was the City of Berkeley’s “Early Childhood Champion of the Year.” In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Parents’ Press readers voted Habitot “Best of the East Bay,” and in 2013 Habitot received the GuideStar Exchange Silver participation level, a leading symbol of transparency and accountability provided by GuideStar USA, Inc., the premier source of nonprofit information. In 2010, 2011 and in 2012, Habitot was designated a “Top-Rated Non-profit” by GreatNonprofits, a leading provider of reviews and ratings of nonprofit organizations. See all awards:

Habitot Children's Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 647-1111