HANCOCK COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Foster children in Hancock County will soon have a good reason to smile on their birthday. It's a new program called Candles of Hope. Leaders at CASA of Hancock County have been working for months to get the program off the ground with the help of community partners.
The idea came from a former foster care child whose story touched Cynthia Chauvin's heart.
"She went into foster care at the age of 14, and at 14 that was the first birthday cake and candles she ever blew out," said Chauvin.
When Chauvin moved from New Orleans to become executive director at CASA of Hancock County, she brought the idea of providing birthday cakes to foster children with her.
"Hopefully their time of not being with their family or their parents is a little bit better because they have a memory of their 6th birthday or their 7th birthday which we only get once," said Chauvin.
They were able to get the program funded in no time with the help of the MISFITS car club.
"I had never dreamed in my life that some children never had a birthday cake. You know, when they told us that, I said we've got to do something," said Donna Holland who is the Vice President of the car club.
CASA then solicited Claiborne Hill Supermarket to help with decorating the cakes and provide them at a low cost.
"Our first cake is coming off the line this Friday for our first little CASA child, and she wanted a CASA cake with ELSA on it," said Micky Evans.
Micky Evans who is the Candles of Hope Coordinator says this program was made easy thanks to the help of the MISFITS and Claiborne Hill, who have been more than willing to help them make these children's birthdays a little brighter.
"To have their CASA is a very important thing, but then to have their little birthday cake that's something of their very own that they got to choose what colors or what flavors and what they want on it, you know this is very important to them and something they will always remember," said Evans.
CASA directors say in the first year they will have enough money to provide birthday cakes to about 200 children in foster care. The MISFITS car club members have already signed on to help again next year, but more volunteers are always welcome.