Birthday Room inspires kids to give, and is a surprise that helps families in need

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DENVER -- A special room in Douglas County is helping make birthday wishes come true for children in need, and it’s magic comes from the generosity of others, including some pretty amazing kids.

Inside a small room above the Treasures on Park Street thrift store in Castle Rock, you’ll find a different kind of treasure that would make any child envious.

"It's like walking into the Lego store. It's crazy,” said Caleb Wilcox, a 5th grader in Douglas County.

Caleb is describing the Birthday Room, like the thrift store, it's operated by the Douglas Elbert Task Force. But instead of selling used items to raise money for families in need, the birthday room offers free, unused toys directly to the families it serves.

The toys don’t just serve as birthday gifts for kids in need, they also ensure those kids don’t go to a friend’s party empty-handed.

"I think that's huge. Last week I filled three of those when I was working,” said Peggy Berends, a volunteer in the Birthday Room. “Otherwise those children wouldn't have been able to attend."

"That's pretty harsh stuff right there,” Caleb said.

The birthday room also offers more than toys. They have everything you need for a party, including party favors, birthday cake mix and birthday candles.

"This is something we can emotionally help them with,” Berends said.

That help wouldn’t be possible without donations, and that's where Caleb comes in.

"It's fun to be like an inspiration,” he said.

Caleb found out about the room when his friend Logan told him he was bringing all of his birthday gifts here.

"I'm like, you're crazy man,” Caleb said. “I mean your birthday only happens like once a year."

Once he got over the shock and realized what the toys meant, Caleb decided to do the same.

"I guess I just decided, 'Well, I kind of feel bad for these families that can't afford it,’” Caleb said.

And once he opened his gifts and followed through on his promise he felt even stronger.

"It felt really, really good. There was one family in here when I went in and their eyes lit up like, 'Woah, that's so cool! Woah, that's even awesomer!'" Caleb said.

For Caleb, the coolest part was seeing the trend continue.

My friend saw what I was doing so he decided to do it,” Caleb said. “And then my other friend, he decided to donate to the Army."

Caleb says other kids who decide to give may be surprised by what they find.

"It's a lot more cool than getting just a few presents,” he said.

If you're interested in donating to the birthday room, you can send a check or new, unused toys to the Douglas Elbert Task Force.

 

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