One of my loyal readers sent me this heart-wrenching public service announcement on the heels of a recent post about the birthday song. The ad is 30 seconds of sweet and sadness in which small children identify songs played on a recorder — only they don’t know the Happy Birthday tune.
This PSA is by the Boston-based Birthday Wishes, which helps throw parties for homeless children.
Recently, the founder of a similar organization, Extraordinary Birthdays, was recognizes as a L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth in 2015. Schinell Leake wrote about her organization’s birthday party planning goals for the Huffington Post. I want to share some of her words:
A birthday is one of the most special days in the year of a growing child. He can be the center of attention. She can be the recipient of gifts and much deserved praise.
It’s not just about celebrating a birthday — which every child deserves — it’s about being able to foster their growth, development, and self-esteem despite external circumstances. Feeling valued is every child’s basic right.
Taken together, this video and these words, get to the very heart of my love for birthdays. Birthdays are about making each individual feel special — even if you are taking the opportunity to treat yourself better for that one day.
They are a day to show our loved ones how much we care about and value them, even if we don’t get around to demonstrating it so openly every other day of the year.
I have mentioned organizations such as this before, ones that aim to make birthdays better for others with an outpouring of generosity. I can’t get enough of them. This is service to community that makes me smile (and sort of want to cry that’s it even needed) every single time.
Everyone should know what it is to be celebrated on their birthday, and I only hope this blog helps keep the momentum going.