A kind-hearted teenager is giving up her weekends to throw birthday parties for homeless children, many of whom have never experienced a party of their own.
Each week, 17-year-old Tanvi Barman, a high school senior from California, travels to different homeless shelters around the Bay Area and throws personalised parties for the children she meets there.
Although she doesn’t know the children at first, the teenager said that all changes the moment she starts to interact with them; they soon begin to trust her and get in the party spirit.
Tanvi just hosted her 45th celebration, which you can watch below:
The teenager started the non-profit organisation ‘No Birthday Left Behind’ having volunteered at homeless shelters with her parents since she was seven years old, and has never looked back since.
As per CBS Evening News, the idea was born after Tanvi realised children at these shelters never celebrated their birthdays like she and her friends did each year.
She told the television station:
It’s very hard for these children to get a source of happiness in their lives. I can provide them a day where they feel special and loved.
After first reaching out to local vendors for children’s party food and entertainment, Tanvi then began collecting donations for party decorations.
The teenager’s efforts have inspired several homeless shelters in the area to reach out to her organisation when one of their young residents is having a birthday.
Most recently, Tanvi worked with several vendors to plan a party for two children, one of whom was a baby girl called Tianah who was turning one.
The 17-year-old explained:
Within an hour, they’re holding my hands, they’re tugging on my sleeve, and they really trust me.
The party celebrations don’t stop at food and decorations either; now the organisation has been established, face painters, puppeteers and other forms of entertainment are all volunteered, while pizza and custom cakes are donated by others too.
After a previous party, for 14-year-old Anneth, Tanvi described ‘No Birthday Left Behind’ as a huge commitment she wouldn’t be able to undertake without the help of her parents.
The teenager described her mum and dad as ‘the backbone help’ to the programme, saying it would be ‘difficult’ to get around the city and drive to different places without their help. ‘My parents are always there to back me up,’ she added.
However, the 17-year-old’s parents told CBS News the organisation is all down to their daughter and the kindness in her heart.
Congratulations Tanvi, and keep up the good work!
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).