TAMPA, Fla. - Belinda is used to being swarmed with hugs and kisses. That's because when kids see her, they know the party is coming.
"The kids have grown to love us,” Belinda told FOX 13. “They see us coming and they say 'The birthday people!' They're just really excited to have us come and celebrate them.”
Belinda is the one of the founders of Celebrate Birthdays, an organization with one mission: to make sure every child feels loved on their special day.
"We're trying to reach these kids on a level to let them know that they matter and that their valued,” she said. “We're trying to help raise their self-esteem and let them know theyre important.”
Belinda and her party squad visit ten local organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, Carlton Manor and New Life Village. If they can't bring the party to them, they celebrate with a “birthday box.”
The birthday boxes are packed full of cake mix, frosting, goodies, decorations, a toy and book.
"This programs allows guardians or families to make sure every child can celebrate their birthday,” Belinda explained.
Four months after her 7th birthday party, Naimah still remembers every details.
"I opened presents, ate cake, played games, ate ice cream," she recalled.
It’s a gift she and her mom will never forget.
"I really appreciate it,” said Chermaine, Naimah’s mom. “It's a blessing for her to come out and do the birthdays that they do for the community.”
Just like most hometown heroes, Belinda said she wouldn't spend her spare time any other way.
"These children touch me in a way that I can't even put into words,” Belinda said. “I found my purpose. This is what I love to do for these children.”
LINK: Learn more about 'Celebrate Birthdays' by visiting the organization's website.