When I asked around the office for a fun story or volunteer project to highlight this week, several coworkers recommended the Birthday Party Project without hesitation and a BIG smile. Within minutes, my inbox was inundated with stories, special memories, photos, and overwhelming thanks for this non-profit that volunteers at our emergency shelters.
In just a few hours every month, this organization brings joy and magic to a child, and the impression they leave on our staff, volunteers, and clients is one of a kind!
So, without further ado, I would like to introduce an organization with a heart as big as their parties, the Birthday Party Project!
Founded in 2012 by Paige Chenault, a mom and professional events planner, The Birthday Party Project is a nonprofit organization that hosts monthly birthday parties for children at homeless shelters and transitional living facilities. With a mission to "bring joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays," Paige and her small staff along with a huge army of volunteers have partied their way into the hearts of SafeHaven and our whole community.
A birthday party says, “We are grateful to have you in our lives.” It’s a lovely thought and it is expressed in such a lively way — bold colored streamers, funny hats, packages wrapped in shiny paper, silly games and lots of cake. By throwing birthday parties for homeless and shelter children, The Birthday Party Project lets these children feel valued and free to have fun and be kids — something their loved ones want for them but are unable to give.
Every month, volunteers Nicole Pursley and Laurie Lamb come out to SafeHaven with a party in mind to celebrate. These "birthday enthusiasts" have themes ranging from petting zoos and carnivals to pirate themes and DJ Disco Dance Parties. Every child that has a birthday in that month receives their very own individual cake, a gift picked out specially for them, and a memory that lasts a lifetime.
In the words of Paige Chenault, “Not every child has a home – but every child has a birthday. And when we all come together in that room to celebrate birthdays – stereotypes and stigmas and differences in economic status – all go away. We’re all there together. One community – full of joy, fun and hope.”
We are so thankful that we have just celebrated our 2nd anniversary with this great volunteer organization, and we look forward to many, many more. The support that this organization provides to the community is truly priceless.
From all of the staff and your friends at SafeHaven, we would like to wish the Birthday Party Project a very happy birthday!
For more information about how you can get involved with this organization, please visit their website at http://www.thebirthdaypartyproject.org/.