By Angelica V.
I have always had a soft place in my heart for kids; in high school I was President of the Key Club, the school’s volunteer club, and partook in many activities geared towards helping children. As a group, our club would volunteer to operate the game booths at a local elementary school’s fair, raise almost $1,000 for March of Dimes in order to help babies get the best start in life that they possibly can, and participate in Adopt-a-Family during Christmas time to buy meal supplies for the family and gifts for the children.
As I got older, I began working with children with behavioral health problems and special needs and took every opportunity I could to brighten the days of the children I worked with. This could be through offering a yummy snack as a reward for good behavior, or simply being there to lend an ear and take the children out from class for five minutes when they were having bad days to let them vent to me about whatever they might be dealing with in their personal life— things that prevent them from focusing or behaving in class. Despite my efforts to reach out to children, I can’t help but feel I am not doing enough for them.
One couple, Mary Davis and Ari Kadan, found a unique way to give back to the children they volunteered with in a Skid Row homeless shelter after Davis suffered a miscarriage. Since they were never able to have a birthday party for their own child, the couple began hosting monthly birthday parties for children, attracting about 250 kids and their parents each month. The parties include small gifts for each child celebrating a birthday that month as well as extra gifts so that there’s plenty to go around. Their parties give a great deal of hope and joy to many children, some of whom have never had birthday parties their entire lives.
What a wonderful way to give back to the children of underserved communities! The happiness of children is awe-inspiring and heartwarming to witness, and to instill happiness through these parties is truly remarkable. I find Davis and Kadan’s story extremely inspiring, and it has certainly left me reflecting on the ways I can better give back to the children of the world. It can be shocking how the simplest things can bring a child happiness, and we don’t often think enough about how we can make a lonely child’s day. Davis and Kadin’s example should leave us inspired to do more for kids, who can’t always work to attain simple pleasures for themselves.