RIVERVIEW, Fla. - When a little boy in Riverview couldn't celebrate his birthday with friends due to the coronavirus pandemic, deputies surprised him on his big day.
Hillsborough County Deputy Jaime Heaverin works at Rodgers Middle School with Meredith Bippen. When Heaverin found out Bippen's son Hayden would be turning 6 years old, she got idea to surprise the little boy with the help of her fellow deputies.
As Bippen stood outside her Riverview home with Hayden, patrol car sirens could be heard from down the street.
One by one, deputies drove slowly past the house with their lights flashing.
Corporal Jason Himmel got out of his vehicle to hand several balloons to the birthday boy while another deputy used his loudspeaker to sing "Happy Birthday."
"Since he couldn't have a birthday party with the Safer-At-Home order in place, #TeamHCSO brought it to him!" the sheriff's office wrote on Facebook. "Squad 406 came through big time: they brought him a huge no. 6 balloon and sang 'Happy Birthday' to him over the PA system!"
Bippen said Himmel bought the balloons himself and arranged for the deputies to surprise the family -- a move that left young Hayden nearly speechless.
"He was definitely shocked!" Bippen told FOX 13. "He LOVED it. Said it was the best birthday ever! He was soooo surprised."
She said the kind gesture made for a birthday her son will never forget.
"We can all use a little positivity right now!" Bippen added. "And the sheriff's office is working so hard right now. I think this was good for everyone!"