CelebrateU comes to Long Island to spread joy

Volunteers of the foundation host birthday parties across town



The CelebrateU Foundation aims to host birthday parties for children who are less fortunate and may otherwise not be able to afford them.

Julia Oppenheim, Staff Writer

Originally based in New York City, the Celebrate U Foundation is starting to branch out and is currently accepting chapters and volunteers from Long Island.  The Celebrate U Foundation plans, decorates, and hosts birthday parties for less fortunate children, children who dwell or are temporarily in shelters, or children who are disabled or cannot afford to celebrate their birthday in an exciting and educated way.  The birthday parties also give hope to the children and allow them to gain self-esteem.  

The Celebrate U Foundation was founded in 2014.  Its mission is to spread happiness by throwing birthday parties for underprivileged kids.  The program is supported by teen volunteers, along with social service agencies and schools.  The teen volunteers are one of the most crucial aspects of the program because the children feel safe and comfortable with them.  The young children acquire a bond with the volunteers which helps them gain trust and confidence.  Sophomores Sylvia Ades and Eli Ross have recently started a Celebrate U chapter right here in Port Washington.  

“I really like that everyone comes together and is willing to take time out of their day to help out, spread the word, and raise money for this amazing organization.  I think it is super nice that we are expanding The Celebrate U Foundation out of New York City and into Long Island,” said sophomore and volunteer Hayley Korn.  “Hopefully our bold movement will help attract other towns on Long Island to participate and make a change as well.”

On Sunday, May 6, the Port Washington Celebrate U chapter had their first meeting.  To give a little background, they discussed what the program is about, how the birthday parties are run, when the upcoming events are, and what it truly means to be a volunteer.  They also began organizing all of the donated art supplies including stickers, construction paper, markers, crayons, paint, glitter glue and tons more.  

Many board games, puzzles and activities were donated as well.  All of the donated items will be utilized to decorate the birthday party room, create the arts and craft project and as goody bags.  

An Instagram page was created (@Celebrateu_pw), where details about the organization, upcoming events and the preparation for the parties will be posted.  There is also a GoFundMe page for anyone who would be so kind to donate to the cause.  You can reach their GoFundMe at www.gofundme.com/celebrateuli.  

“The goal of our organization is to bring joy to children who do not have the opportunity to experience the joy of having a birthday party.  In an effort to do so, we put our utmost effort into making the parties as special as possible.  This means having proper supplies, dedicated volunteers who are willing to go the extra mile, and any other generous donations.  When Eli and I were informed about the organization, Celebrate U, we jumped at the chance to make these kids lives a little bit happier.  I believe that this organization will bring our community closer together, and is a great opportunity to give back,” said Ades.  

For more information about the Celebrate U Foundation, feel free to check out the website: celebrateu.org.  The founders and volunteers thank everyone for all the donations and for the words of inspiration to do a good deed, and make a positive change in someone’s life.