New This Month

This Nonprofit Throws Birthday Parties For Homeless Kids Across the Country

Meet Paige Chenault and her crew of party-planning volunteers.


When Paige Chenault was pregnant with her daughter, she was looking forward to throwing birthday parties. And then she came to a sad realization. "There were kids in my community that might not ever feel the joy that comes from being celebrated," she said. "It hit me like a ton of bricks." That's when she was inspired to form The Birthday Party Project with a simple mission: bringing joy to homeless children through the magic of birthdays.


Last year alone, Chenault and her party coordinators across the country hosted over 315 birthday parties for children. Their parties spare no streamer or a layer of cake icing as each party is fully equipped with crafts, games, food, goody bags, cupcakes, and volunteers to make the birthday magic happen. And every volunteer wears the mantra, "EAT. SLEEP. PARTY. REPEAT." boldly on their shirts for all to see.


[TRUE STORY: This Kindhearted Boy Invited Local Shelter Dogs to His Birthday Party]


Of course, she takes planning every party very seriously. "Homelessness looks a lot of different ways," she says. "So picking the strongest partners, understanding what our communities need and then being able to keep up with the need." Her efforts have been greatly received not only by communities, community members, shelters, and kids alike, but the party volunteers who can't help but love throwing parties too. Today, over 10,000 volunteers (they are referred to as "enthusiasts") are onboard and ready to party. What started in Dallas, Texas, as a creative organization in partnership with local homeless shelters quickly expanded beyond state borders to nationwide status: they've hosted over 3,000 parties ranging in cities from New York and Chicago to Detroit and San Francisco.



Aside from hard work and a strong appreciation for birthday balloons, The Birthday Party Project parties by a few rules: "Be BOLD! Be transparent. Be professional. Be great stewards. Inspire good works. Have FUN." The last rule may be the most important and it's something that will last with the children longer than any party favor out there. That rule is, "Love each other, build each other up!" 

So, ready to donate or volunteer?