Every year, on the first Wednesday of June, the Miami Rescue Mission and the Broward Outreach Centers hold a "Bombastic Birthday Celebration" for those who are homeless.
Marilyn Brummit, the vice president of development for the Miami Rescue Mission, said the bash — complete with food, music and gifts — is less about the party and more about the message: "It's a party to say you're special, you count and you matter. We are celebrating your life, your birthday."
Brummit said people who attend the party — open to those in the mission's programs and living on the street — often make the decision to change their lives.
On Wednesday, about 1,000 people between the three centers in Miami, Hollywood and Pompano Beach were treated to a special donated lunch and frosted cupcakes with candles.
Volunteers decorated with balloons and signs and in all three centers volunteers sang "Happy Birthday."
Brummitt said an important part of the celebration is being able to give every person a handwritten card — made by children, organizations and groups.
"If you are homeless and out on the street it is more than likely you haven't celebrated your birthday in a while," she said. "A personalized card can mean a lot."