‘It’s the magical piece of childhood’: ‘Celebrate RVA’ helps kids celebrate birthdays amid a pandemic

Positively Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – A birthday party is something a kid looks forward to every year, and one Richmond non-profit is making sure every kid gets to have the party of their dreams, even amid a pandemic.

Celebrate RVA, a non-profit founded by Julia Warren, throws birthday parties for 1,200 kids in need each year. Warren thought of the idea after volunteering with kids at an inner-city school.

“I asked them when their birthday was and how old they were, and they couldn’t tell me,” Warren told 8News. “They told me they think they were born when it was cold outside.”

Founded in 2013, the non-profit hosts dozens of kids at a time to help celebrate their special day.

“Birthday bags” given to children celebrating birthdays during the pandemic. (Photo: Delaney Hall)

“Pre-COVID, we would celebrate all the children born within that given month at one time,” Warren said. “So, we would be celebrating 30 kids all at once.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they had to get creative.

“We knew that we had to pivot from that model, and say, ‘Birthdays are still happening. Joy is still a necessity. How can we meet that need?”

They found the solution through ‘birthday bags’ filled with decorations, gifts and even confetti that are then dropped right to kids’ doorsteps to celebrate at home.

“On the week of your child’s birthday, you will receive the bag,” Warren said. “You can put in a request at any time.”

Celebrate RVA’ helps kids celebrate birthdays amid a pandemic

Working mostly through donated items, the non-profit has made more than 300 bags since the pandemic started.

“Everyone can connect with the special day. I think we can all come around to the fact that we want children to have better, happier childhoods.”

To donate items or request a bag, visit their website here.

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