With all the uncertainties with the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kokomo Rescue Mission’s Community Birthday Party took on a new look and time this year, being held Thursday, Sept. 10, instead of the usual time in June.
Since the closing of the mission’s dining room to the community in March due to COVID-19 guidelines, the mission has been continuing to meet the nutritional needs of those served by offering free Grab & Go Meals daily from a concession stand in the parking lot for lunch and dinner. This year, the mission used that set up to host its annual birthday party to celebrate all of those who may not have a chance to celebrate their birthdays otherwise.
Organizers put up tables, allowing for social distancing, and decorated them with balloons and candy.
“The Community Birthday Party is very important to us. we realize that many we serve will be spending their birthday alone with no one to celebrate with them. At the party, we treat each one who attends as if it’s their personal birthday on that day,” said Debbie Springer of the Kokomo Rescue Mission.
In addition, the mission held birthday parties at each of its shelters: Men’s, Open Arms, and Watered Garden for its residential guests staying there.
This year, the mission celebrated 117 birthdays .
“We are very thankful for Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer for taking on this project with us to make the day festive for all. They provided the decorations, gift bags filled with toiletries, a Bible, and other surprises for each one of them: men, women and children. A special thank you to Create A Cake and Scoops for donating the cake and ice cream, and to our favorite clown, Nurse Humdinger for filling the air with laughter and song,” said Springer.
Volunteers from Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer attended the party, serving the Grab & Go Meals, cake and ice cream, and personally giving each person their gift bag.
“They also made sure they wrote down their name and birthdate on a poster, letting them know they will not be alone on their birthday, that the church would be thinking about them and praying for them on their special day,” said Springer.
For more information about the Kokomo Rescue Mission or opportunities to get involved, visit www.kokomorescuemission.org or call the office at 765-456-3838.