Birthday celebrations are something most kids gladly look forward to each year. Sadly, this is not the case for homeless kids whose special milestones often get overlooked because neither the families nor a shelter can afford to throw them a party.
According to The National Center on Family Homelessness, an estimated 2.5 million children in the United States experienced some form of homelessness in 2016. Because of their situation, these little ones often go without a celebration, gift, or even a slice of birthday cake.
But Megan Yunn is on a mission to change that.
Megan is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she worked as a director of volunteer programs for Washington & Jefferson College. While working as a tutor in 2011, she met Beverly, a student at an after-school program who confessed she’d never had her own party, or even a slice of birthday cake.
Inspired by Beverly’s story, Megan launched the nonprofit organization Beverly’s Birthdays in 2012 with the aim of throwing parties for kids who are most in need of a celebration. After receiving a $2,500 grant from Scholastic Inc., Megan was confident enough to leave her job and fully dedicate herself to providing at-risk youths with birthday parties.
Each month, the organization’s volunteers reserve a Zipcar for the day and pack it full of balloons, cupcakes, decorations, and favors before heading to a party venue. Beverly’s Birthdays currently partners with shelters, transitional housing programs, family-support centers, schools, and general social-service agencies across the Pittsburgh area to ensure that no child is forgotten on his or her special day.
“To see them close their eyes and make a wish — I can only imagine what they’re wishing for, and I hope that those wishes come true because they deserve it,” Megan told LittleThings. “They deserve all the happiness.”
Since its inception, Megan and her volunteers have created over 10,000 birthday experiences.
“I know that so many of these moms want nothing more than to throw a massive party, but they’re just in a circumstance at this present moment where they’re not able to do that,” program manager Katelyn Livingston told LittleThings.
Watch the video below to see Megan and her dedicated volunteers spread cheer during a recent jungle-themed birthday party, a truly special day for all involved.
If you believe every child deserves a birthday party, please SHARE this touching story with your friends and family on Facebook.
Due to restrictions, this video cannot
be viewed in your region.