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Mitzvot from the Heart: Joey Carson

Joey Carson

Joey Carson, Congregation Shaare Emeth

People enjoy celebrating their birthdays with parties, but not everyone gets that luxury. Joey, son of Lisa and Larry Carson of Chesterfield, realized this and wanted to make a change. He wanted more kids to have great birthday parties like he had enjoyed. 

For his mitzvah project, Joey worked with It’s Your Birthday and Angels’ Arms, which organize birthday celebrations for children in homeless and domestic violence shelters.

According to Joey’s mother, “It’s Your Birthday creates fun and memorable birthday experiences for underprivileged children, while Angels’ Arms keeps foster siblings together within a nurturing family.” 

Founded in 2014, It’s Your Birthday, Inc. has given almost 1,000 children birthday smiles. The organization’s website says it “operates with support from our community of caring individuals and corporations who wish to help make a positive impact on the lives of our kids.” 

Angels’ Arms, founded in 2000, has impacted 540 children, according to its website. “Every child who enters an Angels’ Arms’ home is welcomed with open arms and gets to experience the joy of being a part of a family,” says its website.

Aiding these organizations made Joey a “birthday pal,” which meant he would deliver treats, decorate and organize parties for the kids. It was meaningful for him to stay and help with the parties. 

Joey, a student at Crestview Middle School, was also able to be a part of the celebrations with the children. “The kids seemed happier being able to celebrate their birthdays,” Joey said.