Soldier's Child Foundation Helps Celebrate Birthdays Of Children Left Behind
TULSA, Oklahoma - The work begins with a name -- the name of a soldier who died on duty, and the name of the children left behind.
There are plenty of names.
A group in Muskogee worked to help brighten up dozens of birthdays on Saturday. They worked to take a month's worth of names - of children in Oklahoma and far away - and buy what they want for their birthday.
The gifts stacked up; some of them picked out by children.
"This is what we got a 10-year-old girl, the scooter,” 8-year-old volunteer Hunter Rouse said.
Rouse said the shopping made him feel good.
"For buying them for other people who had lost their parents in the war," he said.
Several big companies raised money from their employees to support the charity "A Soldiers Child Foundation."
"When we heard about this being targeted to children who have lost parents serving our country, we wanted to get involved," Mullin Plumbing's Ray Trimble said.
The group arranges some individual birthday parties like one for the daughter of Staff Sergeant Kirk Owen of Sapulpa.
He was killed in 2011, but today there was someone to help with Kayci's 16th birthday.
The larger goal is to mark the birthdays of as many children as possible.
"And what's happening today is proof, proof that America does care about our families who have gone through so much. And they need to hear from us," Daryl Mackin of A Soldier's Child Foundation said.
The volunteers buy the presents and wrap them and pack them up.
It takes most of a day to do it, and this happens in a different city each month.
The people doing the buying and the wrapping and the packing all know who they're helping and the story of what happened.
"Getting to see the pictures of the smiles on the children when they get the boxes in the mail, can, it pulls at the heartstrings," Jamie Stout of ORS Nasco said.
Once all the gifts are wrapped, they'll be boxed and mailed to children all over the country, and these are just those with birthdays in April.