Picture of child celebrating birthday

What is Jazzy Sun Birthdays?

Jazzy Sun Birthdays helps children at our Marillac Homeless Family Shelter feel like kings and queens for a day by celebrating their birthdays with personalized parties!

Jazzy Sun volunteers work with our homeless shelter staff to develop a list of children celebrating their birthdays each month. They also find out what every child wants for his or her birthday theme. Disney princesses? No problem. Superheroes? Easy to do! Then, the Jazzy Sun team gets to work planning a group birthday party for children celebrating a birthday during the designated month. They include favorite theme decorations, arts and craft projects, delicious snacks and, best of all, a personalized birthday cake for each child. And of course, every birthday child receives a gift as well! 

Our Marillac Family Shelter celebrated it's first Jazzy Sun Birthday in 2011. Since then, Jazzy Sun Birthdays has brought birthday joy to hundreds of children throughout the Capital Region with the help of more than 500 amazing volunteers!




Picture of Fazana and family accepting St. Catherine's Hope for Tomorrow Award

About Jazzy Sun Birthdays 

Jazzy Sun Birthdays was founded in 2011 by Fazana Saleem-Ismail. Fazana believed that every child should feel special on his or her birthday, and she founded Jazzy Sun Birthdays to make that vision a reality. Fazana raised funds, recruited volunteers, and held her first birthday party at St. Catherine's Marillac homeless shelter in May of 2011. Since then, Jazzy Suns has brought birthday joy to hundreds of children throughout the region.

Fazana was not only an energetic advocate for children, but she also was a firm believer in opening communications and dispelling cultural stereotypes. As chair of the community outreach committee for the Capital Region Coalition Against Islamophobia, Fazana worked tirelessly to educate people about the Muslim faith.

With her ready smile and warm heart, Fazana was a friend to many. Numerous organizations honored her for her community work. St. Catherine’s was simply honored to call her friend. Fazana passed away in June of 2020, but Jazzy Sun Birthdays, with your support, is proud to carry on her legacy. 

For more information on Jazzy Sun Birthdays, please visit their website here.


Photo: (Left to right) Sanari Ismail, Fazana Saleem-Ismail, Jaazib Ismail, and Jiffry Ismail at a 2015 awards ceremony in which Fazana was honored with a St. Catherine's Hope for Tomorrow Award.