Peachy the Magazine December 2013 - Page 112

Santa’s Southern Workshop skeptical that we would follow through and actually show up,” Amy recalled. “They were protective of these children who had already had many disappointments in their lives. But we showed up one Saturday afternoon and soon had about 40 kids dancing around and doing the limbo. It was amazing.” cake and ice cream. At the end of the day, the two reflected on this simple but meaningful day in the park and how much it meant to their family. Despite the business of their own lives, their desire to give back remains strong and they wanted their children to grow up with the same spirit of giving. Thus, the inspiration for Bright Blessings. Within a month, the Cervantes packed up their young boys and the luauthemed birthday supplies and headed to Charlotte’s Salvation Army Center of Hope. “We made contact with the Salvation Army and I think they were 112 PEACHY The family’s monthly service project was a stepping stone for creating Bright Blessings, now a fully-formed philanthropic organization. Along with its other similar projects, its Bless-ABirthday program provides birthday parties and gifts to children at 18 shelters. The parties can include as few as eight children or as many as 60, ranging in age from one to 18. The events are creative themed-affairs. “The children not only enjoy the thrill of the celebration, some of whom may not have ever attended a birthday party before,” Amy said. “They love the excitement of the luau, funky town dance party or Mad Science experiments, as much as the joy of receiving gifts such as footballs, board games and books.” THOUGHTFUL EXPANSION Bright Blessings, working with partner agencies across four counties in North and South Carolina, has brought joy and comfort to more than