California teen holds birthday parties for homeless children

Hayward, California — A California teen who gives up her weekends to host birthday parties for homeless children, has hosted her 45th celebration. Tanvi Barman doesn’t know the kids at first, but she said that changes quickly.

“Within an hour, they’re holding my hands, they’re tugging on my sleeve, and they really trust me,” she said.

Some of the children have never had a birthday celebration before. CBS News attended one recent party Barman threw for two children, including 1-year-old Tianah.

Tanvi Barman hosts birthday parties for children in homeless shelters. CBS News

The idea was born when Barman tagged along as her parents volunteered at shelters, seeing kids who never had a party like the ones she had every year.
“It’s very hard for these children to get a source of happiness in their lives. I can provide them a day where they feel special and loved,” she said.

The project, called No Birthday Left Behind, has help now. A face painter and puppeteer volunteer while pizza and custom cakes are donated. It’s a big effort for someone who is just 17 unless you’re counting by the number of celebrations she’s given others.

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