Raleigh 12-year-old celebrates his birthday by donating gifts to children in need

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Birthdays are a big deal for Mylen Strong.

“I mean it’s bigger than Christmas, really. So, it’s always been that way since he was young,” said his mom, Monica Goodson.

This year, on his 12th birthday, Feb. 26, Mylen decided to do something different. Something selfless.

He decided to work with a local non-profit to give sets and birthday bags to foster children in their program.

“Honestly, seeing them smiles just makes me feel really good in my heart — that I helped a family in need,” Mylen said.

He and his mom call this initiative “Happy the Birthday Bird.”

The family started the gifting on Mylen’s 8th birthday when his dad coined the term after seeing him dance in excitement.

“His dad made the comment, ‘Look at you, you look just like a little birthday bird.’ So, we stopped and thought about it like, ‘oh, like a little happy birthday bird.’ We thought it would be cool for this character to come once a year to visit kids leading up to and on their birthdays,” Goodson explained.

This first year they have given out gifts.

“I am going to do it many years and many years on,” said Mylen.

Goodson said they also want to help out families impacted by COVID-19.

They are hoping to expand the initiative and continue to work with more non-profit groups and sponsors.

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