There is nothing more motivating than reading a story like this in the morning. I've never been more appreciative than in this very moment thanks to event planner Paige Chenault. As you can imagine, children in homeless shelters across the country often go without a birthday celebration or even a birthday gift year after year. Having a tremendous impact on their self-esteem, though it may not be recognizable. Well, Paige is out to change that with the help of her organization The Birthday Party Project.
Founded in 2012, The Birthday Party Project is bringing joy to homeless children one birthday bash at a time. The idea for the non-profit organization came to Paige years ago when she was reading an article about birthday parties for kids. As an event planner by trade, a pregnant Paige began to get excited about getting the chance to throw parties for her own child. But after seeing a photo on the news of a malnourished child in Haiti, she began to reconsider. She was then motivated to volunteer at shelters in her community and then started to get more involved by planning these parties!
The Birthday Party Project started with the goal of celebrating the birthday of every homeless child in Texas. Four years after its inception, the organization has expanded to eight different cities across the United States including Kansas City, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. Each month, the organization's volunteers, also known as "birthday enthusiasts," head to numerous homeless and transitional facilities across the country to celebrate the children's birthdays that fall in that particular month.
In 2015, the organization will host 180 parties. Each one is complete with decorations, games, music, entertainment and, of course, birthday cake. Every child whose birthday falls within the month receives their own party hat, badge, an individual-sized birthday cake and a wrapped present worth approximately $30.
Every month has a different theme to keep the kids entertained. September was "County Fair," where each agency had either a petting zoo or magician on site, and this October is a Halloween-themed "Monster Mash" theme. The parties range anywhere from $400-$1000 depending on the number of children celebrating that month. The project is made possible through countless volunteers and generous donations.
Within the moments of chaos these children may live in, it's important to remember to celebrate then. Each child should know how much they matter. People, like Paige, are out there cheering for them. Don't hesitate to get involved with an organization like this! Devour the details and volunteer for The Birthday Party Project in your area!