The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, yet child poverty remains a problem in some regions. Despite its wealth, the United States leads the developed world when it comes to the proportion of children living in poverty. Children belonging to ethnic minorities are particularly at risk, with child poverty rates ranging between 40 and 70 percent among all children in some states. For children growing up in impoverished communities, a birthday celebration is too often an unrealized dream. To help children in some of America's poorest communities have the chance to celebrate a happy and memorable birthday, ChildFund has launched a campaign to provide mobile celebrations to American children enrolled in our programs in North and South Dakota, Oklahoma, Mississippi and Texas.
A birthday should be a time of celebration, but for one in five American children, the day may pass with no party or presents. We hope to provide these children and their families with an occasion to remember.
ChildFund's mobile celebrations Fund a Project will provide essential equipment like baking utensils, cake ingredients, balloons and other materials to families and 600 children across five communities so their birthdays and other milestones can be true celebrations. Ten children and their families will directly benefit from each mobile celebration, which brings communities together for a party that they likely can't afford to have individually.
Children living in poverty not only miss out on the opportunity to celebrate their birthday like more privileged children, but they often begin their lives with a diminished sense of self-worth. Bringing communities together through celebrations is an excellent way to develop greater social cohesion and enables children and their families to strengthen bonds with other members of the community. Party customs also reinforce cultural values.
Experiencing something as simple as a memorable birthday party helps children feel like they belong and holds great social and personal significance. "Children, like adults, are driven to seek explanations for personal, meaningful events," Jacqueline Woolley, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas, wrote in Psychology Today. "To children, the annual experience of the seemingly sudden change from one age to another is of great significance."
Our goal is to raise $6,435 to provide children living in poverty with the opportunity to enjoy their birthday and form memories that will last for many years. If you would like to help make their dreams a reality, please consider making a donation to the mobile celebrations campaign.