NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – There are thousands of children who have lost their parent because they gave their life fighting for our freedom.
A Soldiers Child Foundation of Smyrna was created to stand by those children. On Saturday, dozens of volunteers worked with the foundation to make their birthdays extra special.
“It’s the best birthday ever,” said 9-year-old Rylee. She is celebrating her birthday in a different way, but her favorite part about the day? “Cupcakes,” she said.
Rylee and her sister were treated to cupcakes, gifts and celebrity guests, like Queen Elsa from Frozen. “I like Elsa too, I’m glad that she’s here,” said Rylee.
One very important guest was not at the party; her father. He was killed serving the United States of America.
While the loss has been difficult for the family, gestures like a fun birthday party thrown for Rylee help keep them strong.
Daryl Mackin is the founder of the foundation that provides birthday gifts for around 2,500 kids of fallen heroes across the country.
“I believe we are changing lives. I think we are saving lives,” said Mackin. “The freedoms that people live out in this country have always come at a price and the least we can do is care for the children left behind.”
Volunteers also took some time Saturday to buy gifts for those kids who celebrate their birthday next month.
One volunteer said they spent about $20,000 on gifts, providing gifts for more than 160 children throughout the country.
Mackin wants families to know that their loved ones legacy will not be forgotten, and their memory will not fade away.
“It did matter. We do care,” he said.