Duncan nonprofit celebrates children's lives - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Duncan nonprofit celebrates children's lives

DUNCAN, OK (KSWO) –A Duncan organization that works to let children know that they are loved and special is being recognized as one of the top nonprofits in the state of Oklahoma.

Beautiful Day of Stephens County started in August 2013 by throwing birthday celebrations each month for Duncan elementary school children. They have made it to the top 24 nonprofit organizations in consideration to receive an Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence Award. The organization is in the top three finalists for the community category.

The idea for Beautiful Day of Stephens County eventually grew into a greater purpose for two mothers and that purpose was change. Co-founder Michele Johnson says it came about after seeing multiple heinous crimes committed by young people from Stephens County during the summer of 2013.

"What can we do? What's going through these young people’s minds? Why do they think this is okay? Has anybody ever sat across from them and told them that they have potential. That they can dream. That we love them," said Johnson.

Right now, each month they go to three elementary schools in Duncan to celebrate children's birthdays.

Co-founder Leah Miller says one of her fondest memories is of a first grader’s reaction to the experience.

"So she was celebrated for the first time last year as a kindergartner and then she got up to the birthday table this year and she was just squealing with delight clasping her hands as only a first grader can show that kind of excitement and she said I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life for this," said Miller.

Volunteers help to set up by decorating a table just like a birthday party would be with a table cloth and balloons. Miller says these celebrations aren't rocket science.

"Kind of the beauty of Beautiful Day is its simplicity. What we are doing is not super complicated. We're not building a rocket ship for each kid. We are really serving them a birthday meal," said Miller.

Each child also walks away with a custom-made birthday card and a Beautiful Day bracelet. For the next school year the celebrations will also spread to Comanche and Marlow Public Schools. Johnson and Miller say they want the celebrations to be something the children never forget.

"The day you were born was a Beautiful Day and your community sees you. You matter to your community and we have hopes for you. The community has hopes for you," said Miller.

"Whenever you meet a kid they don't forget you and so it's not just in the cafeteria where we get to know these kids. It's a baseball game. It's at Walmart," said Johnson.

The Oklahoma Nonprofit Excellence Awards will take place on April 9th in Tulsa at a dinner and reception. The winner of each of the eight categories will walk away with a $10,000 grant.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsNewsMore>>

  • Survivor recounts boat accident that killed 9 family members

    Survivor recounts boat accident that killed 9 family members

    Saturday, July 21 2018 12:18 AM EDT2018-07-21 04:18:54 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 3:00 AM EDT2018-07-22 07:00:11 GMT
    (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.(AP Photo/Charlie Riedel). People pray outside Ride the Ducks, an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

    More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

  • Trump finds it 'inconceivable' lawyer would tape a client

    Trump finds it 'inconceivable' lawyer would tape a client

    Saturday, July 21 2018 9:26 AM EDT2018-07-21 13:26:09 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 2:49 AM EDT2018-07-22 06:49:30 GMT
    (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File). FILE - In this April 26, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York.  President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer secretly recorded Trump discussing payments to a former Playboy model who said she h...(AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File). FILE - In this April 26, 2018 file photo, Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York. President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer secretly recorded Trump discussing payments to a former Playboy model who said she h...

    President Donald Trump claims that his former personal lawyer's taping of their private phone conversations is "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.".

    President Donald Trump claims that his former personal lawyer's taping of their private phone conversations is "totally unheard of & perhaps illegal.".

  • Off-duty Burger King worker steps behind counter to make own food; 2 fired

    Off-duty Burger King worker steps behind counter to make own food; 2 fired

    Sunday, July 22 2018 1:01 AM EDT2018-07-22 05:01:51 GMT
    Sunday, July 22 2018 1:01 AM EDT2018-07-22 05:01:51 GMT
    The off-duty worker and her manager were fired by the franchise owner for violating company policy. (Source: WFOX/WJAX/WAWS/CNN)The off-duty worker and her manager were fired by the franchise owner for violating company policy. (Source: WFOX/WJAX/WAWS/CNN)

    The off-duty worker and her manager were fired by the franchise owner for violating company policy.

    The off-duty worker and her manager were fired by the franchise owner for violating company policy.

Powered by Frankly