SPOKANE, Wash. — Several community members around Spokane came together give a birthday party to a boy who had never had one.
The boy and his mother evacuated a severe domestic violence situation several years ago. Until recently, they were living in shelters around the city.
To protect their identities, the boy’s mother requested to keep their identities private.
In late September, the boy invited all of his classmates to celebrate his birthday with him. After most of them declined, his mother made a post on Facebook, sharing how heartbroken he was.
It wasn’t long until Mike Ellis and his wife saw the post and knew they wanted to help.
“I said, ‘Hey, Hon, what do you think about putting on a birthday party for this special boy?’” Ellis said. “And she said, ‘Let’s do it.’”
In just less than a month, the Prohibition Gastropub was filled with people from around the city, greeting the young boy at the door.
He was surprised when he walked in, and his mother immediately started crying.
“He didn’t think that adults would come today,” Ellis said. “He didn’t think that kids would come today. So when he walked through the front door and saw a hundred, a hundred and fifty people, you could see it in his eyes, his excitement.”
Being at the party was just as much a gift for those who attended as it was for the boy.
“I’ve cried several times today, and it’s because of seeing love and generosity from complete strangers,” Ellis said.
“When the little guy came up and hugged us and we saw his face, that said everything,” said Bill Taylor, who, along with his wife, made a cake for the party.
“I am so happy for him. And you can tell that he’s happy,” said Jenny Lease, a Spokane teacher. “He’s greeting everybody with a smile and a hug, and it’s just made his day. And it’s made my day to see him happy.”
It’s the love and warmth of a community just doing what they can.
“We all care. This community in Spokane cares. We weren’t going to let this guy not have a birthday,” Taylor said.
“To see the fact that these people took time out of their Sunday to be able to say ‘Happy Birthday’ to a boy they didn’t know until today is amazing, absolutely amazing,” Ellis said.
The party was at the Prohibition Gastropub on Monroe St. The restaurant is currently undergoing renovations, but the owner said he made sure to do whatever he could to make sure it was open for the party.