HURST, Texas (1080 KRLD) – Graham Day will never forget his 8th birthday party this past weekend.
At first, it looked as though Graham would celebrate alone, as he had done the year before. The cake and pizza had been ordered, and the invitations had been sent, but nobody had responded. Graham’s mom was determined that this year would be different.
She first sent a desperate message to neighbors through Nextdoor, asking them to come and bring only themselves, no gifts required. But, when she got no response there, Graham’s mom drove to the Hurst police station. Her son dreams of being a police officer when he grows up, so she hoped to get an officer or two to come to Graham’s party.
Officer Adam Longoria was just starting his day. “All of a sudden, our Cpl. McElwee sent a message out to the whole shift,” he said. “It basically said, ‘Be here.’”
So, a dozen Hurst officers and several firefighters rolled up to Graham’s house, lights and sirens flashing. “I don’t think he knew what to make of it at first,” Longoria said. “He looked so surprised.”
As the first responders were arriving, other neighbors who had seen the Nextdoor message from Graham’s mom also joined the party. “We introduced ourselves to all the neighborhood kids and parents,” said Longoria. “Graham’s parents invited us in for cake and pizza, and then we got to spend some time hanging out with the kids, taking pictures in front of our cars.”
Longoria said that they even got to stay longer than they had planned. The police call load decreased for a few hours, letting them hang out with Graham and the other kids. “I also think his parents were just in shock that we managed to get so many to come,” said Longoria. “I’m grateful that we were able to have such a good presence, spend time with the kids and say happy birthday.”
By Kristin Weisell