It’s easy to get caught up in our day to day lives and take the little things for granted. Even birthday celebrations become an expected treat.
Of course, not everyone has the means to do something as simple as throw a birthday party, which is why one woman in San Antonio, Texas took it upon herself to give a local children’s shelter an incredibly special night.
Amanda Rico was getting ready to turn 30 and planning an extravagant party for herself.
Like any soon-to-be birthday girl, especially one turning 30, Amanda wanted to go all out.
“My husband had asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday,” Amanda told KSAT 12. “So I created a Pinterest board with things I wanted to do. I started to think about all the extravagant things I wanted to do — my birthday cake. I wanted to have mariachis, and I wanted them to serenade me.”
But after reading a touching children’s book to her little boys, she had a change of heart.
The book, “Light Up the Darkness”, had one passage that struck a chord with Amanda.
“It says, ‘I was just a boy one winter’s night beneath my favorite tree. It was the night of my 12th birthday all alone as I can be. No cards, no cake, no candles, no presents wrapped for me, because no one threw a party for a little boy who couldn’t see’.”
How could anyone not be affected by reading that??
And the 29-year-old mom decided she would give back by throwing a party for others instead.
“I stopped and said, ‘Wow! Am I being selfish that Ihave been blessed with 30 wonderful years of life? And how many other children out there that do not have the opportunity to have a wonderful birthday or experience these great things?'” Amanda said.
After enlisting the help of friends and volunteers, Amanda surprised all of the kids at St. PJ’s Children’s Home with the ultimate birthday party.
“They thought they were just going to have a normal dinner and then go back for bath time and then back to their dorms,” Amanda said. “They got a lot more than that.”
The party included a live DJ, cake, dancing, and more.
Amanda said she chose St. PJ’s because their missions hit close to home.
“I chose this place because my parents loved the missions, and we would always go sightseeing, and this place was on the way to the missions,” she said. “I knew it was an orphanage before, and now it is a children’s home, but that is all I knew about it. Then, I did more research and found that this was the largest facility in San Antonio. What better way to go big or go home, right?”
And she hopes the birthday party will set an example for her own kids.
“I want my kids to know from this event that they can make a difference, and if it is an idea, to not think it is crazy,” Amanda said. “Make it happen. I want them to be humanitarian and humble and to live that legacy. Have an open heart for others.”
In addition to her selfless event, Amanda also started a GoFundMe page for the children’s home.
The funds will go towards clothes, shoes, and hygiene products for the kids.
h/t Sunny Skyz