ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- In the midst of emergency sirens and at many times, gun shots, there's a place where the sound of laughter, the sound of celebration, seems louder than what's outside these walls.
Imagine being eight years old and not knowing it's your birthday. How could you if it's never been celebrated? That's where Vickie Benson comes in. The woman behind Rosie's Birthday Club -- an organization that throws parties for kids whose families can't afford to celebrate the special day.
"We want to make them feel really spcial, we work hard at that," Benson said.
Nearly 30 percent of the kids in our community are living in poverty. That means while Mom and Dad are struggling to put food on the table... sometimes presents and cake can sit on the back burner.
"We have even had 3- and 14-year-old guys cry because they are so excited they got a special sandal that they wanted, and some are so happy they are jumping up and down so excited," Benson said.
The club is now into its fourth year and has brought joy to more than 1,000 children. The gifts and custom cards are donated, along with the time these volunteers give to each party -- making every kid's wish come true.