You can find Tricia Beene and her husband, James at the Poulsbo Farmers Market on most Saturdays, where they serve as “Ambassadors,” answering guest’s questions.
Years ago, the couple volunteered at Fishline, where James was known as one of the “Dough Boys,” the group of men that did the Monday morning bread runs. Tricia was a cashier at Second Season Thrift Store for 15 years, where she and other volunteers would set aside new or very gently used toys to bring to the food bank to give to kids for Christmas.
An email went out to volunteers asking if anyone was interested in distributing birthday presents to clients with the Christmas gift leftovers. Tricia answered the call. Before the Birthday Fairy program was a formal program at Fishline, she would connect with parents who had indicated that they were interested in birthday presents for their children when they registered to receive food in the market.
Tricia would call the parents, learn about their children, listen to their story and in that interaction, she would decide what presents from the inventory matched best with the child’s interests or seek out a donor that could help provide something unique. Over the years, she has helped gift art lessons, dance classes and other special experiences through the program. She says that personal connection was key to preserving dignity for the families.
Tricia would welcome families to their scheduled appointment with gifts specially selected for them, wearing fairy wings, carrying a wand, and with a tiara atop her head. “Just a way to make the appointment fun and memorable for the kids and stress-free for the parents. It gave me great joy to bring them comfort and encouragement.”
Tricia attributes the continued recognition she receives as the Fishline Birthday Fairy to the personal connections she formed. She is happy that she is known as the “BFF” or Birthday Fairy Forever.