Birthday parties are ought to be one of the happiest moments of a child’s life. But what if they are deprived of having such a chance to celebrate their day?
Children in homeless shelters all around the country are often times underprivileged to have a birthday party or receive a birthday gift but there are people like Paige Chenault from Dallas who is kind-hearted not just to empathize with these children but to bring a change to their lives, at least during their birthdays.
Chenault founded The Birthday Party Project, in 2012 that aims to bring happiness and smile to homeless children’s faces with a birthday bash at a time.
Thisbe Grace Photography
Founder and CEO of The Birthday Party Project Paige Chenault at a Candy Land-themed party.
“My wish is that everyone would have a great day like I’m having today,” one boy told TODAY.com as he blew out his birthday candles at a shelter in Dallas, Texas.
Cheanault came to an idea to establish this non- profit organization when she was looking out for birthday party ideas for kids and for her own child as she was pregnant at that time until she came across a photo of young Haiti boy who was looking undernourished.
“It just sort of hit me. This kid will never feel celebrated like I could celebrate my daughter,” she said. “I could do a lot of things for my kid, but I want to do it in a greater way with a bigger purpose.”
The Birthday Party Project began with the goal to celebrate every homeless kid’s birthday in Texas. After four years, they branched out to eight cities acrross the US including San Francisco, Kansas City, Chicago, New York, and Minneapolis.
Every month, their volunteers who are also known as “birthdày enthusiasts,” visit various transitional facilities in the country to celebrate the kids’ birthday that fall in the month.
“A lot of these children don’t know how to blow out a candle or even make a wish,” Chenault said.
This year, the non-profit organization will be conducting 180 parties where each one will have a complete decorations, music, entertainment, games and especially a birthday cake. Every kid will receieve their own hat, a cake and a birthday present worth $30.
“It’s a mind-blowing experience,” said Nadia (who preferred to not share her last name) after attending a party for her son at a domestic violence shelter in Arlington, Texas. “Coming from such pain and trauma, it’s so nice to be able to relax for a minute, take a breather and to see that smile back on my child’s face. I have no words to describe the happiness and joy that I am feeling.”
“It was the best thing ever,” said Maureen Jones, whose son Jayden recently had a party at a Texas shelter with Chenault’s help. “Most of us don’t have the energy, the funds or even the correct channels to provide our own children with a celebration like this. I couldn’t give Jayden what they gave him. It was so beautiful.”
Each party conducted ranges from $400-$1000 depending in the number of children. This was dine witu the help of generous donations and numerous volunteers.