Teen Throws Birthday Parties for Homeless Children
When she learned that not all kids got the same attention on their birthdays as she did, she wanted to do something to help.
As a kid, I remember the excitement I would feel each year when my birthday month would come around. We always had some kind of party, whether it was at the local roller-skating rink (yes, those used to be a thing), or just a few balloons and some birthday cake at our home. Even if it wasn't the fanciest affair, my parents did what they could so that I could feel special.
That's why the mission of Bay Area teenager, Tavi Barman, is so important. Barman (pictured below on right) started No Birthday Party Left Behind in 2016 to organize and throw birthday parties for homeless children.
Barman's desire to help others started when she was very young. She remembers visiting homeless shelters with her parents when she was 7 years old. She would ask the children in the shelters when their birthdays were and would get blank stares. From then on, she made it her mission provide every needy child an opportunity to celebrate their special day.
"It's very hard for these children to get a source of happiness in their lives," she told MSN . "I can provide them a day where they feel special and loved."
Barman partners with local organizations to gather cakes and other party supplies. Each child gets a birthday gift for themselves and favor bags to hand out to the other children who come to celebrate. Barman plans games and activities for the kids to enjoy, and since the non-profit has grown, she's been able to upgrade the entertainment to include bubble-makers, balloon artists and clowns.
(Source: @rickyrooandfriends )
Barman says she notices changes in the children's attitudes right away. She said after one party, a little girl jumped into her arms and said, "Please don't go. Play with me a little while longer."
"They trust me so quickly," Barman said.
Barman relies on donations to fund the parties, and shelters can register children on the NBLB website for a birthday event. She hopes to scale up the program through local high schools and create a model so that the organization can continue to throw parties after she leaves for college.
A personal donation for NBLB of 50+ toys and book.
She has received several awards for her service to the homeless community, including The President's Volunteer Service Award and the 25 th State Assembly District's 2019 Community Hero award.
In an interview with IndiaWest News , Barman recalls how fortunate she was to have the upbringing that she did.
"My friends, our childhood, we don't appreciate what we get so easily, and what our parents are willing to give us." - Tavi Barman
We're sure that Barman will continue to make sure kids get to celebrate their birthdays for years to come - that's just the kind of person she is.
(Source: images No Birthday Left Behind Facebook )