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Community Services for Every1 providing joy through birthday parades

Posted at 5:33 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 17:33:51-04

KENMORE, N.Y. (WKBW) — "I think it's going to be emotional.. I really do."

Tom L. of Kenmore hasn't seen his son, Chris, in a month.

"Normally I see him twice a week," said Tom. "The only thing I can do now is Facetime."

It's why this day is so special. It's Chris' 29th birthday and he's being celebrated for the person he's become.

"Chris is really just fun loving and very active," Karissa Briggs, Community Services for Every1 Program Coordinator said. "He's a happy kid."

He's also independent. Chris is one of many living in group homes through Community Services for Every1. It's an agency that encourages people of all abilities to reach their full potential. But lately, their residents have been challenged emotionally.

"It's hard for everyone to not see their loved ones."

Which is why birthday parades have become a much anticipated pick me up, letting people like Chris feel loved.

"Right now especially when it's your birthday, all you want to do is see your family and loved ones," Stephanie McGrath, communications & special events coordinator said. "So we're making the best that we can and we're really trying to celebrate them as much as we can."

And this isn't just a one-time thing. Every time a resident has a birthday, the staff will provide a parade to go by their home.

"We take care of them on a daily basis and we want them to know we're here for you," McGrath said. "It's scary times but we're here and we're celebrating."

It means everything.

This staff is Buffalo Strong for the ones they hold dear, bringing joy to their faces during these uncertain times.

"It's really touching that they go above and beyond the realm of taking care of them in their home", Tom said. "They want to make sure his feelings and emotions are also in check and I think that's important."