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Birthday parties: A reflection of our heavenly Father's love and provision

Thanks to World Vision-supported birthday celebrations — underwritten by the financial gifts of generous sponsors — more than 900,000 sponsored children last year received gifts chosen to meet their individual needs at the community-wide parties they attended. (VIDEO)

March 2008

José sports the new shoes he received at the World Vision-hosted birthday party he attended last year.
José sports the new shoes that "made him very happy and filled him with satisfaction," as World Vision's Honduras staff members report. He received them at the area-wide birthday party he attended last year, put on by the Yoro area development program through which he is sponsored. The generous donations of U.S. sponsors funded the special event.
Photo © 2007 World Vision staff
José Edgardo Santos has loving, hardworking parents. Still, they couldn't dream of being able to buy their 5-year-old a pair of shoes.

José's father is a day laborer in La Habana, Honduras. His small income is expanded to capacity, covering the basic food and housing needs of his wife and three small children. He is not alone in his struggle — the average Honduran family survives on little more than $3 per day. In one of the Western Hemisphere's poorest countries, where early-childhood diseases are widespread, a simple pair of shoes can help prevent fungal and parasitic infections.

A birthday party to remember

So imagine how grateful José's parents must have been when their eldest child received a pair of shoes last year at a World Vision-supported birthday party for nearly 1,100 children and their families from 26 communities served by World Vision's Yoro area development program. They enjoyed food, cookies, soft drinks, and piñatas at their all-day bash. Generous sponsors in the United States funded the party.

Each year, World Vision sponsors are mailed birthday cards to sign and send back to their sponsored children. Many sponsors return these cards with extra financial gifts — funds pooled to underwrite the annual birthday party celebrations World Vision area staff members put on for our sponsored youth worldwide.

Because of sponsors' generosity last year, more than 900,000 sponsored children — from Honduras to Uganda, India to Romania — enjoyed a special birthday celebration.

At every party, age-appropriate gifts are distributed that also have been selected to meet local needs and the needs of individual children. At the Yoro celebration, for example, smaller children received shoes. School-aged youth received backpacks and school supplies. Bibles, Bible storybooks, and t-shirts also were distributed, as were a few mattresses.

Video: A birthday celebration in Temuco, Chile

Video: A birthday celebration in Temuco, Chile Watch footage of a World Vision-hosted community birthday party, funded through the generous gifts of sponsors around the world.

    A reflection of God's love

    Other children in José's village also received shoes at the World Vision-hosted birthday party. Here, they display their new gifts proudly.
    Other children in José's village also received shoes at the World Vision-hosted birthday party. Here, they display their new gifts proudly.
    Photo © 2007 World Vision staff

Sponsored children and their parents are quick to express their gratitude for these wonderful celebrations. Our sponsors' generosity is a reflection of God's love for them.

World Vision's team in Honduras reports that José's parents "are very grateful to God, the sponsors, World Vision, and the Yoro [area development program] … for this blessing and special gift that their son received."

However, perhaps no one has expressed the importance of the birthday party more poignantly than Radheyshyam, a sponsored child from India. Before she attended a World Vision-supported birthday party, she said, "I was not aware of the importance of my birth in this world."

Learn more

>> Learn how the generous birthday gifts of World Vision sponsors have put smiles on the faces of hundreds of thousands of children across the world.

Two ways you can help

>> Praise God for the generosity of sponsors, whose gifts have enabled children like Josť and Radheyshyam to experience the joy of a birthday celebration that represents our Heavenly Father's love and compassion for them. Pray for sponsored children all around the world to have this opportunity.
>> Donate to World Vision's annual birthday party for sponsored children around the world. Your gift will help us to ensure every child we serve — like Josť and his community in Honduras — can be blessed with the joy of a birthday celebration.

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