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Inspiring the next generation, one birthday at a time

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Lauren Cobin
The room filled with smiles as 10 service members assigned to MacDill Air Force Base joined children at the New Life Village to celebrate their birthdays in Tampa, Florida, May 29.

Supported by the Celebrate Birthdays organization, the MacDill service members joined the fun, celebrating with party games, a piñata and cake.

“Seeing their joy is the best thing,” shared Airman 1st Class Sydney Gunn, a crew chief assigned to the 6th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. “I was in foster care myself, knowing some situations children may be facing really drove me to volunteer here.”

New Life Village, a residential community dedicated to serving children impacted by foster care or trauma, hosts monthly birthday parties to ensure that all children have the opportunity to celebrate their birthday.

Children from the village shared their gratitude for these events, and how they enjoy meeting the volunteers who spent time with them.

One attendant who recently graduated high school, expressed interest in the Air Force, and was grateful to speak with the volunteers from MacDill who helped them understand some of the different career paths.

“I am just so thankful for the Air Force providing me with the opportunity to meet new people and give back to my community,” Gunn said. “Being able to see their smiles made all the difference.”