TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA)-As kids, most of us looked forward to our birthdays, especially the party.
“I know for myself and maybe you, when I was a kid a birthday was really special. You got to go out to your favorite restaurant, you have some friends over and maybe a party at your house. But for a lot of kids in our organization, they don’t get to do any of those things,” said Ricky Gallon, Community Liaison with the Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay.
On Thursday, thirteen children with the organization, each with a birthday in June, filtered into an empty room, each not knowing they were about to receive their most memorable birthday gift.
“It just kind of came to us. Why don’t we make these kids feel valued on their birthday,” said Belinda Leto, president of Celebrate Birthdays.
The non-profit’s mission is to ensure that all children in the Tampa Bay area, always have a birthday party.
Leto, along with other members of the organization surprised the group of children with cake and other sweets, as well as fun games and plenty of birthday gifts.
“For me to make these kids feel valued on such a special day for when they came into the world, it means everything,” said Leto.
Leto, a complete stranger to the children, gave them a memory to last a lifetime of birthdays. She tells 8 On Your Side, for her, that is the icing on the cake.
“It is an indescribable feeling. One lady who works here told me that one child who doesn’t usually talk…said more words than she has ever heard them say. For me and this organization, that just speaks volumes about the impact that we make for these children. Amazing! Amazing,” said Leto.
Leto says Celebrate Birthdays will continue to honor birthdays at the Boys and Girls Club of Tampa Bay next month.
To learn more about the non-profit organization visit celebratebirthdays.org.