High School Senior Throws Birthday Parties for Children in Homeless Shelters

Tanvi Barman, of San Francisco, California, has hosted 61 birthday parties and counting.

by - Posted on Dec 19, 2019

High School Senior Throws Birthday Parties for Children in Homeless Shelters

A California teenager spends most of her free time planning birthday parties for children who can’t afford to celebrate them otherwise. For 17-year-old Tanvi Barman, the founder of “No Birthday Left Behind,” a non-profit organization that plans birthday parties for children living in homeless shelters around the Bay Area, it’s important that everyone has the chance to celebrate their big day.

Barman first got the idea after volunteering at homeless shelters with her parents and sister and realized that some celebrations that she took for granted, like birthday parties, were unobtainable for homeless children.

“We all look forward to our birthdays every year,” she told CBS News. “We all do. And it’s sad that these children, who are just like us, don’t have the opportunity to have a birthday.”

Barman said she started the organization in the eighth grade. Although originally funded by Barman and her family, it wasn’t long before local volunteers and vendors pitched in, donating their services and goods, such as custom cakes and pizza. The services are provided free of charge by a face painter and a puppeteer volunteer.

Barman has now celebrated 61 birthdays with 5 different shelters in Fremont, Willow Glen, Hayward, and San Jose and continues to work with them to host monthly parties for children with upcoming birthdays. 

"It's just a heartwarming experience," Barman added. "I love spending time with kids. Seeing a kid smile makes me really, really happy.”

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