CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. – A 3-year-old boy in Christiansburg is still overjoyed after his birthday party over the weekend, but that feeling almost didn't happen.
His mother, Kaitlyn Slusher, planned the party for Saturday at the Christiansburg Aquatic Center. At least 20 people RSVP'd for the celebration, but there was a much different outcome.
"We had four pizzas sitting there and a huge cake and only two presents on the table," Slusher said.
No one showed up.
"He was like, 'Where's all the kids?' And I was like, 'I don't know, Rayen, I don't know,'" Slusher said.
Slusher decided to invite some more guests, pleading to strangers in two community groups on Facebook. Within minutes, the power of social media paid off.
"We filled the whole party room up," Slusher said.
Dozens of community members showed up with presents in hand, including a Virginia State Police trooper and a Christiansburg police officer.
"Doing the right thing is what comes naturally to them," Christiansburg Assistant Police Chief Chris Ramsey said. "They do the job for more than just the sake of doing the job. They're trying to be there for the community and as trite as it sounds, to actually make a difference. I mean they want to make things better."
"After his party, he was like, 'The police officer showed up to my birthday and all those people showed up,' and he says, 'That's the best birthday ever,'" Slusher said.
Family members are so grateful for the priceless present, thanks to the birthday surprise that no one saw coming.
"If I ever need help getting a party together, I know where to go," Slusher said.