Hannah Finn was 14 years old when she began using her babysitting money to give homeless kids and teens a birthday worth remembering.

Now a 19-year-old student at UMass Amherst, Finn’s nonprofit, the One Wish Project, brings better birthdays to hundreds of kids in communities around the state, and Salem is about to be the project’s next stop.

“There’s such a big homeless population in the world and such a big need for birthdays and special celebrations for these kids who may not otherwise be able to have them,” Finn said. “So being in Salem is important to us because it’s reaching our goal of growing and celebrating more kids.”

Finn’s team will start bringing better birthdays this fall to about 200 kids in foster care or homeless shelters that the Salem office of the Department of Child Services works with.

Each child gets their own personalized birthday celebration thanks to One Wish. Volunteers deliver the kids a cake of their choice and special gifts like dolls, a bike or a new gaming system.

“It’s something as simple as a birthday celebration, but it’s made such a big impact on someone else’s life,” Finn said. “I’m sure these kids will remember that when they were in a homeless shelter or in foster care, someone was there to care about them and bring them something that they may not otherwise have had.”

The Andover native baked cakes for the kids herself and shopped for presents at the Christmas Tree shop and other stores when her charity first started out.

Even though Finn still spends much of her time between classes contacting social workers and setting up celebrations, she can’t bake the cakes or run the charity on her own from school.

Her mother, Claudia Mintz, is One Wish’s general manager and is overseeing the charity’s day-to-day operations in the meantime.

Mintz has been working to expand the nonprofit into Essex County, Worcester County, Norfolk County and Middlesex County. She is also looking for more donations through toy drives or monetary gifts, and more volunteers.

Locals can join One Wish’s sponsor a birthday volunteer program to directly deliver a birthday celebration to a kid in need. The volunteers bring the cake they buy or bake and deliver the presents supplied by One Wish, along with balloons and other party goods the child picks out.

“They have the wonderful experience of getting to meet the child, and that’s what makes it truly special,” Mintz said. “It’s not just a name on a piece of paper.”

The nonprofit partnered with radio station Magic 106.7 in December to gather toys people could donate through Amazon wish lists as part of the fundraiser #OneMagicalWish. It was so successful, her father Todd Finn said, that at least three Amazon trucks filled with toys were arriving at the nonprofit each day.

“It resonated with people, and that’s something that really is heartwarming to see,” said Todd Finn, a lifelong Peabody resident.

His daughter has been honored by the Boston Celtics, American Red Cross and other companies and organizations for her work. But at the end of the day, she’s most focused on giving kids a birthday they deserve.

“Something as simple as being kind and bringing a birthday celebration could be something not so simple to these kids,” she said. “It could really change their world in a dark time.”

For more information about One Wish, go to www.onewishproject.us/.

Contact Caroline Enos at CEnos@northofboston.com and follow her on Twitter @CarolineEnos.

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