5th grade class holds birthday party for Edgefield senior citizen

Published: May. 23, 2023 at 5:36 PM EDT
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EDGEFIELD, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - What to do when you hear someone say they never had a birthday party?

Well, a group of fifth graders from W.E. Parker Elementary in Edgefield are surprising a local senior citizen with his own party.

The best part is it isn’t even his birthday. We stopped by to see how they pulled it off.

“The seniors are funny, they’re exciting, and they have a lot of stories to tell,” said Ellie Hammond, a fifth grader.

Once a week, Miss Raines, a teacher at W.E. Parker Elementary, takes her class to the senior center across the street.

“The most important thing we’re doing, is we’re foraging a bond between two wildly separate generations,” said Raines.

This year she’s watched strangers separated by decades in age become close, like Truman Massey, a fifth grader, and Mr. Charlie.

“Him and I, we sit and talk about football all the time, he likes football, and so do I,” said Mr. Charlie.

Massey said: “I love talking to him because he knows so much about sports, and he’s just a great guy to talk to.”

One day they started talking about birthdays and that’s when Massey found out Mr. Charlie has never had a party.

“I was shocked, I mean my heart broke into pieces, because all of us kids here, we’ve had a birthday party,” said Massey.

Gillian O’Gorman, a fifth grader, said: “How has he like never had a birthday before?”

The kids decided to do something about it. They decorated the center and gave Mr. Charlie a surprise he didn’t see coming.

Hammond said: “It’s sad, because he’s 73 years old, and he’s never had a birthday party.”

Mr. Charlie said: “When I walked in this morning, I seen happy birthday, and I’m saying, ‘Who’s birthday is it?’ You know, because my birthday is in September.”

The kids wanted to do something before they moved on to middle school. For them, it felt good seeing him smile while opening gift after gift.

Massey said: “I can’t even describe it. I mean, it’s just great.”

It’s a party 73 years in the making.

Mr. Charlie says it’s so special because there’s so much love behind it.

Miss Raines says she wants to continue bringing her class to the senior center.

Mr. Charlie said: “It means so much to me. I just can’t explain how much it meant to me.”