After the majority of the guests invited to 3-year-old Jackson’s birthday party canceled, his mom Melissa decided to call in some special reinforcements.
She told WSB-TV:
“Around 7 in the morning, I started getting text messages that children are sick, that they weren’t going to be able to go. Out of the eight families we invited, we had seven that canceled.”
In an attempt to salvage her son’s birthday celebration, Reid turned to Jackson’s love of fire trucks for inspiration.
That’s when the mother called the Harrisburg Fire Department to ask if they would give Jackson a tour:
“I said, ‘Would you mind just a couple minutes, just pop in.’ I told them what happened with his birthday party.”
After hearing about Jackson’s birthday and how much he loved fire trucks, Harrisburg Fire Captain Joe Yowler devised a plan to surprise not only Jackson but also his mom.
Yowler told WSB-TV that his personal experience as a parent helped him make a decision to do more than just a tour:
“As a parent, I was thinking about how devastating it was on both sides. Like, a 3-year-old is thinking all week about it being their birthday and having this big party and then not having it. So how could we make this better for the parent and the kid, and I think it worked out pretty well.”
Once the captain called all three crews in for the big surprise, the firemen waited for Jackson to arrive, with birthday balloons and cupcakes in tow.
Yowler admitted that he and his team were grateful to be a part of making the toddler’s special day even more special. He said it was also just as special to Melissa as well:
“It was definitely emotional for her and uplifting for all of us just to see the appreciation. That they appreciated it and he had a heck of a time going through the ladder trucks and the engines and just climbing all over.”
Reid said the firefighters’ efforts to make her son’s birthday unforgettable did not go unnoticed:
“There’s just no words for how much I appreciate them making my son’s day as special as they did. This is definitely the best party he’s ever had.”
The department has since gained widespread social media attention after its sweet gesture.
Happy birthday, little man!