COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Tears of joy and sadness fill Eric Pelfrey’s eyes.
His son is an active Marine who has dedicated his life to our freedom and our country.
Pelfrey says he can imagine the pain and sorrow that fill the children who lose a parent in the military.
“We’re more than humbled to be here,” noted Pelfrey. “It speaks near and dear to our hearts. Anything we can do to support the military and their families.”
In this case, they are supporting those children who have lost a parent in the military. They are supporting a single parent who is left to pick up the pieces. A Solider’s Child Foundation is here to give back and show them that they’re not alone.
A Soldier’s Child Foundation has partnered with Venture Express and Owens & Minor to shop and wrap birthday presents for over 200 children with August birthdays.
The non-profit organization came about while Navy veteran, Daryl JW Mackin, who is the founder and executive director of the foundation, was preparing for his own 6-year-old son’s surprise birthday party.
He remembered Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski, his neighbor’s son who was a fallen Marine of the Iraq war.
His heart turned to Christian, Marc’s son, who would never again have a party planned by his father.
Daryl decided to celebrate Christian’s 10th birthday in 2008.
What started with celebrating one child’s birthday, is now celebrating over 3,500 children in all 50 states.
Mackin notes that our nation doesn’t do enough for these kids.
“When it comes to the children of our fallen we haven’t done a great job. Ninety-nine percent of our nation do not defend the freedoms we live out and one percent defends those. And when they don’t come home for whatever reason, their children suffer for it,” said Mackin.
On Saturday in Columbus, one young boy celebrated his birthday along with family and friends, thanks to the Solider’s Child Foundation.
In each city they stop in, they have a birthday celebration for a child.
They partner with corporations or organizations to shop, pack and ship ifts each month to children of the fallen.
The organization helps out with more than just birthdays.
A Soldier’s Child Foundation has three major points of service: Birthday celebrations, mentorship/camp programs and facilitating in scholarships through their partner: The Folded Flag Foundation.