Candles, cake, and presents - three of the things most of us remember from our childhood birthday celebrations. A day when family and friends made us feel special. One woman has made it her mission to make sure even the most vulnerable kids are not forgotten.
28 year old Megs Yunn is one part party planner, one part head coach. Yunn and a team of volunteers bring the fun to this Pittsburgh Women's shelter once a month. She got the idea two years ago when she was tutoring a 12 year old girl named Beverly. Yunn said "One afternoon she was really stuck on the word accustomed to and I was trying to give her an example, so I said, 'Beverly, at birthday parties people are accustomed to eating...what?' And she looks at me and she said 'Miss Megs, I've never had a birthday party. I've never even had my own slice of birthday cake.'"
With a starter grant for 2500 dollars, Yunn started the non-profit Beverly's Birthdays to build the self-esteem of kids and parents. Yunn said "Maybe they don't have the money to put together a birthday present, but they really do want to celebrate their kid. So we step in and fill that void."
Kids aren't the only ones who get caught up in the magic. Markita "C" is living here now with her four young boys. The past few years have been tough. She said "There was many birthdays I wasn't there for them, and not many birthdays I could do for them." Yunn says the parties help kids and families build a sense of community and establish what she hopes will be a long-running tradition. Yunn added "we all cherish memories and we cherish moments with our families, so I think it's awesome that I get to be a part of that."
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