celebrate! RVA is a non profit dedicated to celebrating the birthdays of underprivileged children. We are firm believers in the power of celebration and the impact it can have to help a child in need. Each month we throw a birthday celebration for these children in need,and we can see first-hand the complete and utter joy on their face as we celebrate with them . Our mission is simple: to give disadvantaged children a memorable birthday celebration in a safe and fun environment.
Because Every Child Deserves a Party
Richmond Public Schools – Oak Grove Bellemeade
Currently, our largest program serves one Richmond Public School, Oak Grove Bellemeade. This school sees a 99% poverty rate among their student population. In fact, most of the children don’t even know their own birthdays, and often times, they are not afforded the opportunity to celebrate their special day and be given the chance to be told how much they matter and are loved.
Throughout the year we partner with the school to provide a monthly birthday celebration for every child in the school with a birthday during the month, which can include up to 40-50 kids. Depending on the time of year, we either play outside on the playground with gym or sports equipment or do crafts or other activities with the kids. During the first half of a birthday party, we can be found doing anything from playing on the playground, to learning new sports skills, to decorating party hats. We often have volunteers from various athletic teams that teach sport fundamentals to the children to practice in their free time. The fun doesn’t stop there though! We hand out birthday cake for every child in attendance, where everyone has the opportunity to blow out a candle and make a wish for the next year of their life.
Safe Harbor Shelter
Another program is with Safe Harbor Shelter to share birthday celebrations with the women and children who temporarily seek confidential housing during a time of great need. These women and children especially need a bit of extra love and joy that comes from a birthday celebration that we can give while they are going through a difficult time of their life.
When we throw a party at Safe Harbor, the women and children get an opportunity to leave their troubles behind for a short while and gain hope in the future. That’s what a celebration as simple as a birthday party can do and it is so powerful.
Our birthday parties at Safe Harbor are usually much smaller celebrations and only occur when a child in residence at the shelter has a birthday. Although it is a smaller celebration, the fun is always big with activities, games and of course, cake for everyone!
ASK Childhood Cancer Foundation
Our partnership with ASK began when we recognized how important it was to celebrate the life of children who had battled a courageous battle. Their lives were precious and a party doesn’t go by that all of our volunteers do not see what a privilege it is to celebrate with them – because without the outstanding medical care they’ve received – we wouldn’t have had the chance. It’s a beautiful time to celebrate with one another and spread joy to all our children!
Interested in getting involved with our volunteer opportunities to help a child in need? Check out our available opportunities. We’d love to have you join us!
Richmond City Justice Center
At the Richmond City Jail, we partner with The REAL (Recovering from Everyday Addictive Lifestyles) Program to provide inmates with a comprehensive parenting program that teaches them to be more engaged and active parents.
Towards the end of the course, we identify those participants who have missed their childrens birthdays due to their incarceration and, upon successful completion of the program, have the opportunity to work with us to have a birthday celebration in the jail for their child.
Each parent writes a commitment letter to their child, committing themselves to a new life and to never leave again. We encourage parents and children to look forward to the future, moving on from their dark past.