Robin Kern, of Crescent, Iowa, is a woman who sees a need and imagines a solution. In the fall of 2018, Robin realized that children at MICAH House, an emergency shelter in Council Bluffs, often were unable to have birthday celebrations due their families’ situations. Robin knew that with a little sugar, flour and a few fun games, she could help create happy memories for kids living at MICAH House and fulfill her own need to spread joy.
“Birthdays are so important to me and our family,” said Robin as she spoke of her desire to recognize these milestones. With excitement, she took on responsibility for monthly birthday parties at MICAH House with one goal – to make people happy.
Robin is perfectly suited to giving back in this way. She can create magic from simple ingredients and her cupcakes are the crown jewel of every celebration. She also has help. John and Jill Faust and volunteers from St. Patrick and Corpus Christi parishes, along with corporate groups such as MidAmerican Energy, facilitate games and provide bingo prizes, crafts and decorations.
Robin said, “I get so much enjoyment out of bringing baked goods because I love to do things that make other people happy. That’s my passion.” The fact that her goodies are gone like ‘hot cakes’ reflects the enjoyment she brings.
One of Robin’s favorite memories at MICAH House is from the very first birthday party. She was worried that her idea for a Fall-themed craft was “lame.” However, the kids embraced the time to be creative. One young man drew a tiny squirrel at the base of a tree and the child next to him took notice, wanting a squirrel on his art piece, too.
“He went around to every single table and asked if anyone wanted a squirrel on their paper. It made him feel good that he was doing something for others,” smiled Robin. “That’s my whole goal, too. I want to make an unfortunate situation as good as it can possibly be. For whatever reason that people are at the MICAH House, I’m just so thrilled that I can do something to make their days brighter.”
Robin encourages anyone with an inkling of inspiration to inquire. Ask the question, “What can I do to help?”
Daylee Olson, MICAH House community relations and marketing coordinator, shared, “We have loved having Robin and the birthday party volunteers for the past year. We are continuing to look for ways to make MICAH House birthdays special since we had to suspend our volunteer programs due to COVID-19. Volunteers bring so much joy into MICAH House, we can't wait to welcome them back!”
Thank you to SHARE Omaha for this blog! They also offer #SharePottawattamie!
To visit MICAH House’s SHARE Omaha profile to see their current volunteer and donation needs: https://shareomaha.org/nonprofit/micah-house
SHARE Omaha serves an eight-county region, including Pottawattamie County, connecting those who want to do good to ways to volunteer and support causes that matter to Western Iowa. Find your fit for giving back at SHAREomaha.org/Iowa.