Officer Brings Birthday Happiness to Boy

This one is sweet and sad. When an eight-year-old boy didn’t get picked up from school, and staff couldn’t reach an emergency contact, the police were called.

When Officer Darryl Robinson of the Green Bay Police department in Wisconsin arrived to collect the boy he recognized him immediately. He’d had a history with the family and knew the boy’s parent was incarcerated.

Even though no one had arrived to get him, the boy “was in good spirits,” Robinson said. Why not? It was his eighth birthday!

birthday generosity

Officer Robinson courtesy of GBPD

Officer Robinson courtesy of GBPDRobinson gave the birthday boy a ride in his patrol car. “He was very excited to ride in one,” he said.

Then, after reaching the grandfather to confirm it was OK, he brought the boy to McDonald’s. And just like that it was a happier birthday: “He loved playing with the toy in his Happy Meal.”

The Response is Sweet Too

People commenting on the story on the Police Department’s Facebook page thanked Robinson for his efforts. One woman offered to drop presents for the boy off at the police station to be delivered. Another commenter wrote:

“I think I just felt my heart break…Thanks to the officer for making that boy’s birthday a little better.”

I second that emotion. The officer did an admirable thing, but it’s sad to think of this boy sitting alone at school on his birthday. The good news is that it only took an hour or so before the boy could be reunited with his grandparent and siblings.

Makes me think of the blog I wrote earlier this year about being there for a kid’s birthday, and another one about agencies doing their part to make sure every child gets to celebrate a birthday. Glad to have a heartwarming tale to share though about birthdays even in the heart of this holiday season.

Heal Heartbreak with a Birthday.

Birthday generosity

Photo credit: volp91w / / CC BY-ND

#bdaygenerosity is one of my favorite hashtags to use on my twitter account. I love seeing the ways in which people use birthdays to do nice things for others.

I’ve written about passing on birthday kindness before, of course. I love non-profits that work to give children birthday parties. I’ve written before about Birthday Blessings and others, but here’s a story about another one in Texas — The Birthday Party Project — and its efforts also in Minneapolis.

Here are some other great examples:

  • A nine-year-old girl hosting a food drive for her birthday told an Orlando TV station, “I like helping people more than I like getting stuff…I like making people happy.”
  • Siblings in New York invited 100 folks to their birthday, asking them to bring bread and deli meat instead of gifts, and together the party made more than 900 sandwiches to take to an Albany homeless shelter.
  • A woman who hosts CPR training parties for her birthday after her life was saved by an MLB umpire at an Arizona Diamondbacks game.

The Global Poverty Project contrasted the extravagance of Kylie Jenner’s 2015 birthday celebrations with the selflessness of Nobel Peace Prize-winning education activist Malala Yousafzai who marked her 18th birthday by opening a school for Syrian refugees.

Instead of having a lavish party, she spent the day in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley at a school intended to help 200 girls gain baccalaureate and vocational degrees.

“I am honored to mark my 18th birthday with the brave and inspiring girls of Syria.” Malala said in a statement. “On this day, I have a message for the leaders of this country, this region and the world – you are failing the Syrian people, especially Syria’s children. This is a heartbreaking tragedy – the world’s worst refugee crisis in decades.”

Using a birthday to fight heartbreak? That’s truly something to celebrate.


Birthday generosity

Author: United Nations Photo / photo on flickr