Birthday in a box.

The day you were born is special. You’re worth celebrating!

This is a message every child deserves to receive. Unfortunately, for a range of different reasons, it might not be what is experienced by all children on their birthday. 

The traditions and celebration surrounding birthdays are an important part of childhood. For parents and carers it’s a joy to be able to create memories and mark the milestones of their children’s birthdays. However, the financial struggle to do this is often very real. 

1 in 6 Australian children under the age of 14 live in poverty.[1]

1 in 32 children receive child protection services.[2]

8 in 1,000 Australian children live in Out-of-Home Care.[3]

An idea was sparked within Horizon Church when considering ideas for an initiative that they could own and lead as a church, in response to an area of need in their community. There was existing connection with people from the Department of Communities and Justice, with a firsthand view of the realities of the system charged with caring for our most vulnerable children. 

Inspired by the belief that every life is precious and every child deserves to be celebrated and driven by the hope that every child would feel valued and seen on their birthday, a question arose, “A box that had a birthday experience in it… would that be useful?” The answer has proven to be a resounding “yes”. 

Birthday In A Box provides packages lovingly filled with everything a family needs to celebrate a child’s birthday.

The boxes include things they need, things they want, a book, ingredients to make a birthday cake, and party supplies! The boxes are provided at no cost to families through partnership with reputable community organisations, sending a message of value to children in foster care, emergency housing, hospitals and other circumstances of significant need. 

In the last twelve months, Birthday In A Box distributed 150 boxes. Demand is currently outweighing supply. 

The church has an important role to play in making sure every child experiences the care and belonging of a home and community where they can thrive. Birthday In A Box is a beautiful example of a local church in action within the Out-of-Home Care system, collaborating and filling a gap. We don’t all have to do the same thing, but we can all do something.

The Homeward Project helps local churches explore the unique part they can play within the Out-of-Home Care space. We’ll help you to identify what’s already happening in your community and how you can do more together. There are pathways for every member of your church to get involved. Contact us to start the conversation at

To find out more about Birthday in a Box visit

[1] UNICEF (2023) 1 in 6 children in Australia stuck in plateau of poverty. Accessed:

[2] AIHW (2023) Child Protection Australia 2021-22. Accessed:

[3] AIHW (2023) Child Protection: Overview. Accessed:

Other Resources


  • Foster Care Sunday

  • God’s ability to turn brokenness into good. Eva’s story

  • Foster Care: Leaving a legacy

  • Beauty from ashes. Tina’s story

  • A vision for God’s people

  • A voice for kids. Naomi’s story

Your Church and the Homeward Project

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