As my eyes read every word of this article my heart beats a little faster, my throat tightens and hot tears well up. How is it possible that there can be more homeless children today than any other time in US history? My heart breaks as I imagine little ones all across the country cold, hunger and perhaps without hope of a brighter tomorrow.
"Child homelessness has reached epidemic proportions in America," said Dr. Carmela DeCandia, director of the NCFH, in a statement. "Children are homeless tonight in every city, county and state — in every part of our nation.”
Here at Box of Balloons these numbers, this research and the reality of childhood homelessness wrecks us. We ache for all the children and parents just trying to survive and seek shelter. The main reason Box of Balloons was started was with these children and families in mind. Can you imagine not having a roof over your head, a place to bath your child and not knowing if food will be available at the next meal AND THEN realizing it is your sweet child’s birthday.
A birthday, the most special day of every child’s year. The day they should be showered with love, smiles and happiness. I am sure for the majority of parents living in desperate situations their child’s birthday is not and realistically can’t be a priority but that doesn’t mean their heart isn’t hurting as they dream of a day they can give their sweet little one a party to remember. For the birthday child, knowing there won’t be a celebration filled with decorations or cake, going to school hoping no one asks what kind of party you will have and a gift, well that is as far from reality as it gets.
We want to change that. We so badly want every child to be celebrated and each birthday to be happy. A birthday party isn’t just a party, it is hope. Hope for more to come, hope for things to be different someday and the affirmation that every single child is loved by someone.
You just never know what one small act of kindness and one box full of happiness can do for a child in need.