As Thanksgiving approaches, we at Extra-Ordinary Birthdays pause to give thanks for the countless magical moments we create for homeless children throughout the year.

Three-year-old Omari – a Mickey Mouse super-fan, according to Mom – experienced his magical moments in October at a shelter in Capital Heights, Maryland.

Omari’s celebration began when he burst into a room decorated in all things Mickey. He gleefully babbled and pointed, in awe, at the décor and balloons surrounding him.

Donning the world-famous mouse costume, he seemed to transform before our eyes. His mother’s eyes filled with tears and wonder. His mouse suit, a perfect fit, was the precept to his engaging in those activities created for a 3-year-old and his pals.

A musical parade ensued. With a spring in his little step, Omari strutted around the space with a themed shaker in-hand, as if he were leading the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade with a baton. This bubbly, organic game-play continued with a Mickey-Mouse toss. The tots sat on the floor and gleefully tossed colorful mesh balls into corresponding buckets – over and over again.

Mickey’s activity cube encouraged a round of fun follow-the-instructions exercises. The birthday boy rolled the cube and – along with his mom and friends – wiggled and giggled, touched toes, and ran in place.

 

After rounds of these rousing activities, Omari’s mom helped the birthday boy track down some healthy snacks – though his attentions were laser-focused on the Mickey cake that sat atop a table, adorn with his name and age. And, because it was his day, of course, the party goers opted to indulge in the sweet stuff.

The personalized birthday banner, frame, and costume Omari kept as mementos – pieces of a party his grateful mom dubbed “the best birthday” for both of them.

These carefully curated elements provide EOB kids and families coveted moments of normalcy. They encourage family engagement, cement friendships, and create opportunities for learning and growth. This wealth of experience and wonderment is possible because Extra-Ordinary Birthdays is supported by you, our strength. Our community.

With more than 2,000 children in the Washington, DC area living in homeless shelters, EOB continues to be the only organization of its kind that provides personalized birthday parties for homeless children with the goal of making them feel recognized and valued.

As we head into the season of thankfulness and reflection, we’re grateful for children like Omari. We’re thankful he – and each and every one of the homeless children we serve – was born. We’re thankful for the countless volunteers who help Omari and others like him feel valued. We’re thankful for your continued support in 2017, 2018, and beyond – so we may continue to make magic happen one party, one moment, at a time.

Regardless of their circumstances, the possibility for a brighter tomorrow exists. Supported by your donations, EOB will continue to offer unique approaches and solutions that meet some of the social and emotional needs of homeless children and their families. We invite 150 EOB supporters to join us in giving the gift of $100 to help us meet our financial goal of $15,000 by December 31st.

You can make a tax deductible donation right here on our website, via Razoo, Facebook or by sending a check to Extra-Ordinary Birthdays, 10009 Rhode Island Ave., College Park, MD 20740. Every penny counts!

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