PITTSBURGH — Every child wants to be remembered on his or her birthday, but for families living in shelters, parties can be tough.
That's where Megs Yunn steps in.
"These children are oftentimes maybe forgotten on their special day or not being able to be provided for because of the circumstances of being homeless," she said.
Yunn is the founder of Beverly's Birthdays, a
nonprofit that throws birthday parties for children in shelters.
It was created when Beverly, a young girl Yunn was tutoring, told her something.
"She had never had her own birthday party or even her own slice of birthday cake, and that, honestly, it broke my heart," remembered Yunn.
Yunn received a grant to start the organization and got the ball rolling back in 2012.
Thanks to donations and corporate contributions, in less than two years, Beverly's Birthdays has provided more than 360 birthdays to kids in 10 shelters in the Pittsburgh area.
Parties come complete with decorations, treat bags,
cupcakes and pizza, and most of it has been donated.
Channel 11's Peggy Finnegan attended a recent party at Arsenal Lanes in Lawrenceville.
There she met Shalisa Wall and her daughter, Alisa.
Wall said she appreciates Beverly's Birthdays stepping up to help families who may not be able to help their child celebrate their special day.
"They deserve a day where they acknowledged for the day they entered this world," said Wall.
"Something small like being remembered and getting a cheer basket with gifts, and having that cupcake with your candle and your name actually being said on your birthday, and "Happy Birthday" sung, that's valuable. We're creating memories for these children and their families," said Yunn.
And making birthday wishes come true.
Yunn sad Beverly's Birthdays is the only organization of its kind in the tri-state area.
There are only two paid employees, Yunn said. There are about 20 volunteers.
To learn more about Beverly's Birthdays or to donate, log on to their website.