He was sitting there, all alone, at Taco Bell, his bedroll leaning against his leg; his only possession. Across the room four young boys were quietly singing happy birthday to one of the four. This young man looked up and said, “it’s my birthday too.” Nobody had noticed; nobody cared.

We bought a Cinnabon, twisted a paper straw holder to make a tiny candle, put it in the middle of the Cinnabon and sang happy birthday to him. He pretended to blow the candle out and we told him to make a wish. It was the end of his special day and he said no one had told him happy birthday and that what we did helped a lot. He was 26 today. Isn’t that sad?

He is only one of thousands out there with no place to lay his head, no job, no one to acknowledge his special day. What does this say about us as a nation? Is this the best we can do for our young people? Are we our brother’s keeper or not?

We keep hearing that there are all kinds of resources out there, but the people who need these resources have no clue where these resources are or how to get to them. How can we, as a people, take the hand of those in need and help them to start having HAPPY birthdays?

Louise Dunn,



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