Jennie Garth Shines a Light on Child Homelessness in an Unforgettable Way

Courtesy of Michael Simon

Jennie Garth
Courtesy of Michael Simon

Preparing for a child's birthday party is a celebration in and of itself. The mere thought of pulling together inspiration boards, gathering streamers, and choosing the perfect birthday cake to make LO's special day all the more magical can put the biggest smile on a mom's face. But as exciting as it is to plan a kid's birthday party, many don't have the means to do so as they're struggling with homelessness. A February 2019 report published by the National Center for Homeless Education shows homelessness has surged by 70 percent over the last 10 years among kids in kindergarten through the 12th grade. Many families are turning to shelters or "doubling up" with loved ones in a home to provide a roof over their children's heads, making something as simple as a birthday celebration we often take for granted more of a dream than a reality.

This is one of the reasons why The Birthday Party Project challenges people to #ShareYourBirthday with children experiencing homelessness, an initiative Beverly Hills, 90210 star Jennie Garth tells CafeMom is a beautiful way to spread joy.

  • Jennie recently teamed up with The Birthday Project, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing joy to kids in homeless and transitional living facilities.

    Jennie Garth
    Courtesy of Michael Simon

    "Kinder Joy brought this opportunity to me to partner with The Birthday Party Project," the celeb mom tells CafeMom. "They're donating birthday parties to kids in homeless shelters or transitional living facilities, providing them with the joy of a birthday party – which is something [that resonates with me] as a mom. I have the means to be able to throw my kids birthday parties, and I kinda take that for granted."

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  • Celebrating birthdays each month across the country, The Birthday Project believes #JoyChangesLives and is making an unbelievable impact.

    Since its start in 2012, The Birthday Party Project has celebrated over 8,500 birthdays with more than 50,000 children in attendance. "At The Birthday Party Project, our mission is to bring joy to children experiencing homelessness through the magic of birthdays," said Paige Chenault, CEO of The Birthday Party Project.

  • "There are so many people [who don't have] the simple opportunity to celebrate their kids' birthdays," she explains to CafeMom.

    Jennie Garth reading to kids
    Courtesy of Michael Simon

    "This is a great way to spread the joy," Jennie Garth adds.

    Kinder Joy, a Kinder brand that family-owned chocolate giant Ferrero introduced to the US, is celebrating its second birthday with a partnership with The Birthday Party Project. The company is donating $50,000 to sponsor birthday parties for hundreds of children in shelters across the country that will likely put smiles on many kids' faces.

    "Kinder Joy believes shared little moments have the power to grow into meaningful and long-lasting memories. That's why we are so excited to partner with The Birthday Party Project and help children feel celebrated on their special day," Noah Szporn, vice president of marketing, Kinder, North America, mentions in a statement. "Supporting this organization is a great way for everyone to experience the joy of giving back."

  • Serving others is not a foreign concept for the 90210 star, who had great examples growing up: her parents.

    Jennie Garth
    Courtesy of Michael Simon

    "My parents were both educators in Illinois when I was growing up. We lived on a farm, and my dad and my brother built our house," Jennie mentions to CafeMom.

    As Jennie explains, John Garth, her dad, was heavily involved in creating adult education opportunities in her home state. "He worked tirelessly with people that didn't have access to an education, so I think growing up in that environment sort of instilled in me the importance of getting involved in organizations to help people in some way," she notes.

  • "I love [it]," she tells CafeMom about giving back and strengthening communities. "It makes me feel good, like my life means something."

    To learn more about The Birthday Party Project and ways to get involved, visit www.thebirthdaypartyproject.org.
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