Ray is one of approximately 50 teens who reside on Gateway Longview’s campus. As he approached his milestone 18th birthday, he remembered celebrating last year with a group of volunteers from a local church. Volunteers often provide mentor-ship and other special opportunities to youth on Campus who might otherwise go without. Ray approached his social workers and asked to once again celebrate with the volunteers that so graciously honored him last year.
“All he wanted was to be with his friends and have his favorite snack - typical things any teenager would normally get on their birthday.” said Lisa, Ray’s social worker.
Thanks to an act of kindness, Ray’s birthday wish was fulfilled. Volunteers from Williamsville United Methodist Church set up a small party just for Ray. They brought him a cake and his favorite alfredo dip, ensuring his 18th birthday was as special as he hoped.
“It was stupendous to see that people in the community care about me, especially on my birthday. I’ll never forget this!” Ray said.
In 2020, Gateway Longview is celebrating its 130th birthday (1890-2020) of protecting, enriching, and giving hope to nearly 5,000 children and families served annually throughout Western New York.