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.
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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."