How one rad woman became the fairy godmother of birthday parties

Birthdays are kind of awesome. Once a year you get an entire day devoted to your birth, and sometimes you even get a party.

But what if your birthday came and went and you didn’t get presents, balloons, or even a cake with candles to blow out? For thousands of children living in homeless shelters, this is exactly the case. However, if Paige Chenault has anything to say about it, this won’t be the rule anymore — it will be the exception.

In 2012, Paige, who’s based in Dallas, founded The Birthday Party Project, which provides parties to children who wouldn’t otherwise get to celebrate their birthdays because of hardships their families are facing. Paige and the other volunteers, called “birthday enthusiasts,” create beautiful celebrations for kids living in shelters.  Some have never had a party before.

The parties, just like any other kids’ birthday shindig, offer music, decorations, games, and best of all, cake. Chenault told, “a lot of these children don’t know how to blow out a candle or even make a wish,” which fuels her drive to throw as many parties as possible. In fact, they are on track to host 180 parties in 2015.

The Birthday Party Project touts core values such as “be bold. Be great stewards. Inspire good works, love each other and build each other up,” and Chenault’s mission has spread to eight other cities. As a professional party planner, Chenault was struck with the idea when she was pregnant with her first child and fantasizing about the parties she would throw for her daughter. Soon after, she came across a picture of a homeless child and thought, “This kid will never feel celebrated like I could celebrate my daughter. I could do a lot of things for my kid, but I want to do it in a greater way with a bigger purpose.”

Three years later she is making birthday dreams come true for kids in Kansas City, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Chicago and New York City. One of the party goers told, “My wish is that everyone would have a great day like I’m having today.”

You couldn’t ask for a better reward than that.

(Image via Instagram)