“Aha moments are when something you experience or observe just clicks for you, helps you in some way, inspires you...” From AuthorsHelpingAuthors.wordpress.com/about-aha

I found it all too ironic: my “aha” moment came during an experience with O Magazine, a publication known for its ability to capture and narrate these kinds of light-bulb-turns-on instances we all share.

O’s “Beauty of Giving” staff pampered me to from head to toe. I was treated to hair styling, makeup application, and general pampering while an editorial team attentively posed questions to help me better share my story – and the Extra-Ordinary Birthdays mission – with the world.

These personalized touches – the pampering, the interview, the attention – made me feel special. I was the center of attention. The main focus, if only for a day.

I was, in these shared moments with magazine staff and beauty experts, personally experiencing precisely what we strive to deliver to homeless children and their families every month, with every celebration: self-worth, smiles, hope.

We work diligently to give moments to children – moments about them. Moments during which the birthday boy or girl is the center of attention and praise. Moments that inspire hope and good, warm feelings.

We’re not feeding families every day, nor are we providing them stable housing. But we’re building an important, restorative foundation during these simple moments, brick by brick –amid the dizzying, disorienting experience that is homelessness. Self-esteem. Self-worth. Human value.

It was at this O Magazine photo shoot – in the midst of being pampered – that I truly started to embrace just how special I felt; how the day’s events made me even more excited to continue to inspire feelings of light and empowerment in homeless kids on their birthdays—days that are uniquely theirs.

EOB recently wrapped up 12 birthday celebrations across three shelters in the Washington, DC area. They were, as always, so incredibly fun, humbling, and gratifying. As these children continue to be challenged by homelessness, their birthday parties provide not only moments of joy, but chances for parents to celebrate their children’s lives – despite the trying circumstances.

It’s my sincere hope that the O article sparks aha moments for the magazine’s readership – and that it shines a light on EOB and homelessness, so we can garner even more support for such a important cause. May everyone know the Beauty of Giving today – and every day.

You can give to support our work through our end-of-the-year campaign here.

Schinnell Leake, EOB Founder & Executive Director

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