Celebrating Life With This Positivity Propeller: The Birthday Party Project
Who Are Positivity Propellers?
Positivity Propellers are on a mission to make the world a better place. Positivity Propellers lift our spirits and give us hope. Positivity Propellers inspire us with their ideas, offering us inspiration to create our own make-the-world-better mission. Positivity Propellers provide a tangible positive “spark" in a world that can seem relentlessly negative. Positivity Propellers are intent on doing “the right thing” because it IS the right thing to do, without regard to fame. Positivity Propellers renew our faith in the goodness of humanity. We don’t say it often enough, but not only do we need to be grateful to them, we need to bring them and their good works to the forefront. At Positive On Purpose, I am passionate about sharing their dynamic, life-lifting stories with you.
Back in 2012, Paige Chenault founded The Birthday Party Project, a non-profit that throws birthday parties for children in homeless shelters.
The path that lead Chenault to creating The Birthday Party Project was clearly one filled with ingenuity—and heart. The former wedding and event planner was pregnant with her first child in 2008 and began thinking about the birthday parties she would throw her daughter."I was flipping through Parents magazine, actually, and reading an article about kids' birthday parties," Chenault tells Parents.com. "This is before Pinterest, of course, and seeing these beautiful images, I was really excited about how I could celebrate her."
Moments later, she was reading TIME. "And the first story that I opened to featured a little boy in Haiti and he had no shirt on, no shoes on his feet, sunken eyes, a bloated belly, and I had this overwhelming feeling, and all I could think was, 'What about him?' In this moment, I literally had a fire in my belly, a punch in my gut. I was crying hysterically on an airplane, and I remember coming home to my husband, [and] I just said, 'I feel like I should be celebrating children who might not otherwise feel celebrated and using all the resources we have to do this.'"
Although she was driven to help children all over the globe, she realized that there were children living in her own city who she could ask that same question of: "What about them?" It was then that she first started volunteering at a homeless shelter in Dallas and throwing monthly birthday parties for the kids there.
During that first party, Chenault says she stood in the corner of the room, watching the event unfold and realized it was about so much more than just a birthday celebration. "This is about connection, unity," she says. "I realized we were onto something great." Underlining that realization: An 11-year-old boy approached her and said, "Thank you, Ms. Paige. This is the first birthday party I've ever had."
Now, The Birthday Party Project brings parties to homeless shelters every month in 19 cities, including Dallas, Austin, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit, New York, Atlanta, and Washington, DC. They've partnered with local shelters and agencies in these cities, like A Safe Haven in Chicago, Coalition for the Homeless in New York City, and the Salvation Army in Austin.
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY PROJECT BY THE NUMBERS
19K Birthday Kids Celebrated
2,500 Parties Hosted
63K Kids Who Have Attended Parties
1 Birthday Enthusiast It Takes to Make a Difference
This year alone, 2.5 million children experiencing homelessness might miss out on a birthday celebration. At The Birthday Party Project, they've made it their mission to make sure every child feels special - especially on their birthday.
Did you have a birthday countdown? Do you celebrate all month long? Do you remember the anticipation, excitement, (maybe a sugar rush or two), and the JOY of your special day? The Birthday Party Project believes all children should have a JOYful birthday experience, regardless of circumstance.
Highlights of The Birthday Party Project
Your donation provides a child with everything they need to celebrate a birthday! Fun age appropriate games, activities, party decor and more..all wrapped up in a Birthday in a Bag and sent to a child experiencing homelessness.
Get your party hat on - it’s time to make a difference! Sign up to rock a party near you. We need birthday enthusiasts to make parties happen! If we’re not in your area just yet, we encourage you to stay connected and help spread the word!
Is there someone the rest of us should know about? We want to feature them. POSITIVITY PROPELLERS is going to become a regular feature because:
+ These are the people who should be making our news.
+ These are the people whose “headlines” are about mission rather than sensational marquee value.
+ These are the people who inspire our belief in the basic and beautiful goodness going on all around us, in our everyday lives.
+ These are the people who prove that there really are angels in our midst.
Don’t you agree? Join me in seeking them out.
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