SALEM, Va.- – Having friends show up to his birthday party is on the wish list for a 7-year-old Gabe Manus.
His mother said he doesn't have many friends and may be bullied because of his autism, so Stephanie Manus reached out to a non-profit for help.
When WSLS 10 met Gabe Manus at his home Wednesday, hIs attention was focused on playing with his Hot Wheels. Most of the time, he plays with them alone.
He already turned 7 on Feb. 24 but he's hoping to connect with other kids at his birthday party on Saturday.
"I will show them all the games," said Gabe.
Gabe was born autistic and for his past three birthdays, his mother said no one showed up or RSVP'd. He was left to celebrate with only his family.
"It broke my heart because he stayed at the door at Thunder Valley waiting," said Stephanie Manus, mother.
"I really like my friends. And that's why I really wanted them to come. But they just didn't show up," said Gabe.
Stephanie is partnering with the Cherab Foundation to spread the word about the upcoming party and share an important message with the community.
The Cherab Foundation helps with birthday parties for children who have been alienated or bullied and who have not been invited to any event or party.
"We are extremely excited. We are grateful for the assistance. And we really hope that the idea will bring the community out in fostering the acceptance," said Manus.
This is meant to be a community event and everyone is welcome to come. There will be other children with special needs at the party.
"I have six other kids who will there who are experiencing the same issues. Who have been excluded, who have no one show up to a party," said Manus
The birthday party will be Saturday. March 10, at Bethel Baptist Church in Salem from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more about the Cherab Foundation and to RSVP for the event.