Birthday Shopping Spree Benefits Kids of Fallen Heroes


A group of North Texans took a shopping trip Friday, buying birthday presents for a very special group of kids. The children are going through some unimaginably tough times.

Like many folks this time of year, Cheryl Sommerfield is on a mission. She has a big shopping list. But the gifts she’s looking for are not for her own family. Sommerfield is part of a group which went shopping at a Walmart in Lewisville, buying gifts for children of fallen heroes.

“The reason I’m doing this is there are families who need it, who’ve lost a mother or father,” she said. “And that just breaks my heart.”

The Soldier’s Child Foundation has purchased birthday gifts for thousands of children in the United States since forming a decade ago. Founder Daryl Mackin started the non-profit in his native Tennessee, — inspired, when his neighbor’s son was killed in Iraq.

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“A lot of them associate the gift with their fallen parent,” said Mackin. “It really sounds crazy, but I really believe what we’re doing is changing the life of a child.”

Many of those who purchased birthday gifts work at Owens & Minor, a Flower Mound-based distribution center. They will gather again Saturday to wrap the gifts, and send them off to children.

There is another reason why Cheryl Sommerfield took part. She wears a pin on her chest which reads “Army parent.” Her son is currently serving.

“He’s already had PTSD,” she said. “Well, there’s a reason for that.”

Service comes with sacrifice. Sommerfield hopes she can give comfort — to children of those who made the ultimate one.

“We all need to help them out, I think,” she said.

John Locher/AP

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