TAMPA, Fla. - When Belinda Leto found out that most foster children were not given birthday parties, she and a fellow nurse created a non-profit to give them free birthday parties.
"It’s fun. It's entertaining," shared nine-year-old Helen Thomas, who is adopted. "I like it when we eat the cake and we play games."
Leto’s effort is called Celebrate Birthdays.
"I think that our main mission was just to spread a little kindness and make sure that children got celebrated and if we did a few birthdays, then great,’ she explained. "We never thought it would be this magnitude and this much of a need."
They do one party a month complete with games, prizes, and a theme birthday cake.
"I think I just have a love to give back to people to help others if I can, and we're all here for a very short time, honestly. And so I just want to do good here while I can," added Leto.
Julie Light fosters three children and their birthday parties can be expensive.
"I was blessed by Belinda," she said. "She brought me 3 birthdays in a box and we got to do a mini-birthday celebration. They felt loved and appreciate it and like someone cared about them."
For Leto, giving comes easy to her. She picked up the trait from her dad.
"My dad was very involved in Little League Baseball for 36 years here in Tampa, Florida. He was blessed and fortunate to coach people like Tino Martinez, Freddy McGriff, Luis Gonzalez, and so I watched him, every day, work with youth, children that weren't even his day after day for a long time," Leto explained.
She says she is grateful to be giving back to children in a very special way.
Celebrate Birthdays gets its funds from the community.
LINK: Learn more about Celebrate Birthdays.