A 30th birthday is a big milestone. Plenty of people celebrate a new decade with all the bells and whistles, and why not?
The passage from the 20s to the 30s is certainly something to be remembered. One woman from Texas had some big birthday plans for her 30th this year.
Amanda Rico wanted it all.
“I created a Pinterest board with things I wanted to do,” she told KSAT-TV. “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.”
Big dreams, indeed. It wasn’t until Rico was reading a “Light Up the Darkness” to her children one night that a new idea sparked — a less conventional way to celebrate her birthday.
“It is about a young boy who is blind, and the setting is the Nativity scene,” Rico said.
She went on to explain how the boy in the book related to the rejection Mary and Joseph received in Bethlehem. This character didn’t have a birthday or anyone who wanted to celebrate him — just like when Jesus was born.
It was then that Rico knew she wanted to do something different. She set to work trying to organize a party, not for herself, but for children who may have never known what it’s like to be celebrated.
“I was thinking maybe something simple, like just a cake, but it blew up,” she said.
The task proved difficult at first, as Rico found it challenging to gather vendors and volunteers and even traction on social media.
Still, she kept the faith, believing this party for the less fortunate was what God wanted her to do.
“I was fighting it,” she said. “But I thought ‘Alright, God, if you are telling me to do this, then I am going to do this.’”
In the end, it was the man who organized Rico’s wedding reception that helped her make it all happen. Bryan Boyd got on board, helping the birthday girl find a caterer and other vendors who could make the party all she’d hoped it would be.
St. PJ’s Children’s Home in San Antonio provided the perfect opportunity, as well.
“I chose this place because my parents loved the missions,” Rico told KSAT. “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 go big she did. The event was a surprise for the home’s 130 children, and Rico was thrilled. Her GoFundMe campaign helped her raise over $1,000, enough to purchase clothing and other items the children needed.
The party was a huge success, and Rico shared everything through photos and videos on her Facebook page.
“I am a firm believer that God places people in your life for a reason,” Rico wrote on Facebook. “Bryan Boyd is the perfect example of that.”
“With a servant heart Bryan didn’t hesitate to reach out and make this event better than I could have ever imagined.”
Rico thanked the vendors and volunteers who made this all possible. Her husband, Jonathan Rico, shared how proud he is of his wife’s faith.
“She is an example how opening your heart to the Holy Spirit, being filled with love, that it over flows to those around her,” Jonathan Rico wrote on Facebook.
We wish Amanda Rico and her loved ones all the blessings this 30th year of her life will bring. It’s clear the party has already blessed so many others.