GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - A child's birthday is always a reason for parents to celebrate, no matter how old your kids get. A Gulfport mom is using her's son's party to also raise awareness about autism.
Danita Streets says throughout her son Kevin's life, she's always had to explain his autistic behavior and find things for him to enjoy. Now that he's turning 17, she thought it would be a good idea to invite people from the community out to celebrate with him.
"I would always have to explain his diagnosis. So I was like, 'You know what? Why don't I put something together where children and children like him can just come out for a day and just have fun?' It's all about them today," Danita said.
Rose Johnson with the North Gulfport Community Land Trust helped Danita organize this fun day of games, food and dancing.
"It is all about a community coming together, making the parents aware that early intervention is the key, and about acceptance and inclusion of theses kids in the community," Johnson said.
To see everyone enjoying something that's educational and fun is enough to put a smile on Danita's face.
"It makes me feel wonderful," Danita said with a smile. "I am so excited that everyone can come together and you don't have to be looked at as having autism or being different. Different is okay."
Despite the recent reports of crime in Gulfport, community members find a way to come together, and local non-profits say they're out to celebrate, have a good time with the children, and let them know that there are positive things that come out of North Gulfport.
"First and foremost, if you don't see better ever in your life, you're not going to know better. So we try to be out here and do better for people to see that so they can have a reflection of good. And that's what we are - Brothers of the Struggle, Business Men of Tomorrow," Jerell Brown said.
The carnival was free of charge and everything at the carnival was donated from those in the community.