Community throws surprise birthday party for homeless child
Community members and local nonprofit organized a surprise birthday party for nine-year-old Osiris Lewis, who was recently living out of a car with his father until one week ago. Osiris celebrated his birthday on Saturday, with the help of the community, looking forward to a promising year ahead.
"He's never got to stay inside on his birthday, and they live in their car," Melissa Mayne, Executive Director of the Compassion Highway Project, said.
Osiris and his father Jesse have been staying at America's Best Value Inn in a room sponsored by local residents. While other members of the homeless community were sponsored for a few nights, Mayne said the Lewis family has been sponsored to stay at the hotel for a month.
"So he got to stay for his birthday, and then that birthday gift extended for a whole month," Mayne said.
Mayne, who has known the family for years through her organization, said this is the best gift they could have ever asked for.
"For that to be a child's gift, getting to stay inside, that's huge," Mayne said. "Touched my heart that our community came together and just really rallied around all these families."
"It's always exciting," owner Laura Ancheta said. "Nerf gun parties are fun. They're energetic. Our DJ, their job is to make it super fun for the kids and so they're definitely excited in there."
Ancheta said she couldn't wait to help when she heard about the Lewis family and their living situation.
"I can't imagine not being able to do something like that for my son or not be able to give him a party, a nice big special party," Ancheta said. "I think it's just a cool thing and every parent should have the opportunity, at least once."
Mayne said this is just the beginning of a different life for Osiris and Jesse.
"Their whole life has turned around in these past few days and I couldn't be more excited because they're so deserving," Mayne said. "Jesse's an awesome dad and they're deserving of this."