Neighbors get creative to throw birthdays for children during coronavirus pandemic

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Evie Morgan had big plans for her 13th birthday celebration. Becoming a teenager is no small thing after all. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit.

"We were going to have the party I think next weekend, but then the whole coronavirus came up and we couldn't really have people over. So we were just going to go to the drive in, but then we started having second thoughts."

Her mom Laura reached out to Facebook for help, calling on friends and neighbors to hopefully craft a still memorable day, and boy did they.

Decorated car loads of Evie's friends passed out front her house all afternoon, honking their horns and singing Happy Birthday. Another friend dropped off a homemade cake. The cul-de-sac in front of the Morgan home filled up with chalk messages of celebration.

Maybe most striking was a beautifully wrapped gift left at their door from a total stranger. They had seen Laura's Facebook post and just wanted to brighten her day.

It all made a daughter and mom's heart soar.

"Just really nice good people and who are looking for reasons to do something nice and help a 13-year-old girl feel special when things are kind of crummy right now," said Laura.

Blane Strahin had a superhero-themed fifth birthday on tap that had to be scrapped but thanks to friends down the street he got something even better.

Blane told me excitedly over FaceTime.

"Dinosaurs came!" he exclaimed.

A dinosaur parade to be exact. Friends from down the street re-purposed their Halloween costumes to give Blane one of the bigger surprises of his young life. They had music, signage and a bunch of bobbing heads.

Blane's mom Erika cried some happy tears that day and she wasn't alone.

"So many people reached out to me saying that it made them smile, that it brought tears to their eyes. And so the fact that we can make this birthday so special and that our neighbors and our family cared so much to do it felt really good."

Talking about it a day later, Tre' Morgan wouldn't have it any other way for his daughter.

"I think this went from a birthday that she was a little bit sad about and is now probably the birthday she'll remember more than any of the others."

"For sure," added Evie with a smile.

Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.