Paige Chenault is making a difference one birthday party at a time. As the founder of The Birthday Party Project, she has brought birthday parties to children in homeless shelters across the nation since 2012. In honor of the impact she has made on the lives of countless children, she was honored by Toyota’s Mothers of Invention this year.
Her journey began when she was pregnant with her first child in 2008. The former wedding and event planner was excited about planning her little one's future birthday parties, while she looked through images of party ideas in Parents magazine. Switching gears, Chenault then found herself reading an article in TIME about a little boy in Haiti. She found herself crying hysterically at the thought of this little boy’s needs. She went home and told her husband, “I feel like I should be celebrating children who might not otherwise feel celebrated and using all the resources we have to do this”
Chenault wanted to change the world one child at a time and decided to start with the children in her own city. Her first step was volunteering at a homeless shelter in Dallas to throw monthly birthday parties for the kids there.
“Thank you, Ms. Paige. This is the first birthday party I’ve ever had,” an 11-year-old boy told Chenault at the first party she threw. She quickly realized these parties would be providing more than birthday cake. They would be a way to create connections and unity.
Interested in helping Chenault fulfill her mission to bring joy to children living in homeless and transitional living facilities? Click here.
Sandee Gruner is a full-time working mom with a love for writing and communications. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two children, where she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring local attractions and volunteering.