When you’re a kid, one of the things you look forward to is your birthday. A chance to celebrate your big day with family and friends, laughing and having fun.
The harsh reality, though, is many kids don’t get to enjoy that luxury.
And that’s where Cameron Heyward comes in.
Heyward understands how special a birthday is for a kid, so he turned his own birthday into a celebration for others.
Heyward, who turned 29 on May 6, hosted the fourth annual “Heyward House Birthday Bash” for kids who normally don’t get to enjoy their special day the way most do.
Heyward hosted children from KidsVoice, an agency that represents abused and neglected kids who are in foster or group homes, to join him and some of his teammates at Dave & Busters at the Waterfront.
“This means the world to our kids,” said Scott Hollander, Executive Director of KidsVoice. “We’re able to have 30 kids here, kids who don’t have parents in their lives, don’t have a lot to look forward to. To be able to come here and have Cam celebrate his birthday by celebrating them is special. Some have parents who don’t remember their birthdays, to be here and play games with the players. For them to be able to go to school tomorrow and tell their friends about this, it’s a phenomenal thing Cam and the Heyward House do. For him to make a difference in the community the way that he does is really special.”
The kids enjoyed a dinner filled with all their favorites, and of course birthday cake topped it all off.
And what would a party be without games. The kids hit the Dave & Busters’ arcade with Heyward and his teammates, where having fun was definitely the best item on the menu.
“It’s not about celebrating my birthday. It’s about hanging out with this kids, interacting with them, and letting them have a good day,” said Heyward. “Seeing them, hanging around with them, and getting to know them a little bit. This is a lot of fun and hopefully they enjoy it.”
And this isn’t something new for Heyward. Giving back, doing things for others, it’s second nature to him.
“He is so unselfish in everything he does,” said assistant head coach John Mitchell. “A lot of people see guys on the field, but they don’t get to see what they are like off the field. When you say class, and a lot of people say it. but if you look class up in the dictionary and Cam Heyward’s picture isn’t there, they don’t know what class is.”