Jimmy Comer, Co-Owner of Relationship Business and Insurance Services LLC
“Julia’s (the founder) passion for Celebrate! RVA is evident anytime she talks about the nonprofit that she created six years ago at the age of 16. Birthdays are a special day, and she fully believes that every child should have that rite of childhood, no matter their economic status.”
As the boys and girls celebrating September birthdays made their way into the Oak Grove Community Center, there was music playing, confetti flying, hula hoops twirling, and banners wishing them, “Happy Birthday!” The gym was positively electric with excitement!
Many of these children, whose families sometimes can barely afford rent, much less cake and party hats, have never had a birthday party before. The mission of Celebrate! RVA, the nonprofit that hosts these birthday parties for disadvantaged elementary school children every month, is to make sure that every child has the opportunity to be celebrated at least one day a year and is able to carry that special feeling with them throughout the year. The organization even gives the children “birthday bags,” with candles, banners and more, so they can celebrate whenever and wherever they choose.
At the September celebration, a young girl was sitting alone and seemed unsure of how to engage with the other partygoers. One of Celebrate! RVA’s staff went over and encouraged her to get up and dance. When she and the staff member started swaying to the music, the girl’s shyness melted away. Her joy was infectious, and soon 10 more children had joined in the fun. Their elation spread like wildfire through the gym.
At these parties, kids proclaim again and again, “This is the best birthday ever!” Every child deserves an extra-special day like this one.
Ensure every child feels special by volunteering or donating to Celebrate! RVA!