Our Story

For many children, birthdays are considered to be one of the most important days of their lives. While a number of organizations help make holidays special, far fewer focus on birthdays. This can leave under resourced children unable to fully celebrate their special day. Brighter Birthdays’ mission is to change this.  Founded in 2017, we are a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) service organization dedicated to giving under resourced children brighter birthdays.

The children with upcoming birthdays are identified by their schools. We provide these students with birthday bags filled with party supplies, treats, crafts, toys and basic living essentials. In addition, Brighter Birthdays now serves teen moms and their babies through Young Lives and foster families through Restoration Rome. All of this is made possible through caring supporters who donate items, make financial contributions or generously give their time.

Leadership

Cristin Warden
Chief Executive Officer

Cristin Warden started Brighter Birthdays as a way to serve children in the community and have her family involved. She was in the banking industry for more than 10 years before electing to stay home with her daughters. She has been a home school mom for the last 8 years. She loves serving her community whether through working at the community kitchen, rescuing pets or volunteering at Good Neighbors. She is also an active member of the Rome Knitterati.

Jeremy Antoniuk
Chief Operations Officer

Jeremy Antoniuk is a business operations and technology executive with 20 years of experience leading organizations to significant growth. He has led numerous large-scale change initiatives to successful outcomes. His broad expertise creates lasting success through operational excellence, innovative technologies, and talented people.


Neema Padya
Elementary School Coordinator & Board Member

Neema Pandya joined the Brighter Birthdays team in 2018. Before moving to Rome 13 years ago, she had worked in the corporate finance field as an analyst and consultant. Neema was looking for an opportunity to volunteer her time that had meaning and purpose. She quickly filled the role of coordinating and delivering backpacks to all elementary schools in the area. She loves being able to serve in a way that gives back directly to the children of Rome


Amanda Hale
Middle and High Schools Coordinator & Board Member

A resident of Rome for the past 11 years, avid volunteer in several charitable organizations, and stay at home mom, Amanda, met Cristin at a group pack in the fall of 2018. They immediately hit it off over their shared crocheting habit. She began a volunteer position assisting the organization and acquisition of yearly bag items. Within a year, Amanda’s position grew to include the coordination of the local middle and high school back pack services. She feels it has been a joy working to provide meaningful resources to the children of the community.