Throw Their First Birthday Party

With help from sponsors and donors, Holt threw special parties for children around the world on June 1st, the International Day of the Child.

Every child deserves to feel special on their birthday. It should be a joyous, fun-filled day, celebrated with family and friends.

But for homeless and vulnerable children around the world, birthdays sometimes go without much notice or celebration.
Many don’t even know what a “birthday” is.

That’s why, last month, we launched a campaign to help give orphaned, abandoned and vulnerable children the best birthday ever. We asked Holt sponsors for their help by sending a special greeting and goodie bag to their sponsored child. Some sponsors also gave an additional donation above and beyond their normal monthly sponsorship to help with the parties.

This year, we also asked our many other friends and supporters to contribute to the parties – either by sending a special greeting to a child who doesn’t have a sponsor, or donating to the celebrations.

We were overwhelmed by the responses we received from thousands of wonderful, caring people! Together, we made it happen.

On Saturday, June 1st – the International Day of the Child – Holt threw spectacular parties for children in care as well as children living in the communities where we work around the world, from Haiti to China and many countries in between!

Thank you to everyone who helped make the celebrations fun and special for nearly 10,000 children. The parties went off without a hitch!

VCT, one of our legacy partners in India, writes: “Our children had a lovely time on the 3rd of June celebrating International Children’s Day. This was a special day because kids were made to understand that this was a day earmarked just for them. With beaming faces, they set out to thoroughly enjoy the day…They played games, sang songs, enjoyed the bars of chocolate, cookies, chips, etc…” This was a special treat, as fruit is usually served at snack time.

After lunch, the party commenced!

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“The volunteers played the musical instruments along with the children. They rode their bicycles joyfully, and at the end of the day we were grateful we had no casualties,” our partner continues. “Boys and girls became quite boisterous as they began to realize this was a special day. We let them free to do all that their hearts desired, so long as no one was hurt. At school closing time, they decided to call it a day and returned home to their foster homes tired and fulfilled.”

In Vietnam, some of the children got to go on an adventure… to a water park!

“In Binhduong, the older children were taken to a water park. The children played in the water together with joyfulness,” writes our staff in Vietnam. “All the children were very happy playing in the water and splashing each other. During these days, the weather was very hot so the children showed their greatest happiness when having a half day to enjoy all the water games and eating in the park.”

At two care centers we support in Vietnam, the children had a more traditional birthday party, where “the children sang many songs, played fun games, read poems and danced in a warm atmosphere.”

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The celebrations included not just children in care, but also children in other Holt-supported programs – including day care, foster care and family-strengthening programs – as well as children from poor families in the community. With funds from Holt sponsors and donors, the staff bought gifts for the children, including much-needed school supplies. “These are very meaningful and necessary to the children who will leave the kindergarten this year to enter the first year of primary school,” they write.
But as this is a birthday party, the children also received toys and treats!

“The families would like to send their heartfelt gratitude and best regards to sponsors who brought happiness to their children on this special day,” our Vietnam staff writes of families in the community whose children attended the parties. And on behalf all our partners in Vietnam, they write: “We would like to express our sincere thank to the generous donors who share happiness and caring to the disadvantaged children on their special day.”

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