3-Year-Old Receives Memorable Birthday Party in Shelter After Family Flees Their Flooded Missouri Home

Brooklyn holding a birthday gift at a Missouri Red Cross shelter COURTESY JODI HOWARD
Brooklyn holding a birthday gift at a Missouri Red Cross shelter
COURTESY JODI HOWARD

Despite the calamity of the recent Midwest floods, volunteers and neighbors came together to make sure one Pacific, Missouri, 3-year-old was not forgotten on her birthday. 

Brooklyn Howard celebrated her “favorite day of the year” in a makeshift Red Cross shelter on Wednesday after rising floodwaters forced her family to evacuate their home.

Brooklyn’s mother, Jodi Howard, says residents, volunteers and friends at the Pacific shelter helped celebrate her daughter’s special day by bringing the toddler a decorated cake and presents.

Brooklyn’s birthday party was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday at a local recreation center, but the record level flooding rendered a celebration impossible.

“We were going to have a little get-together with close friends and family,” Jodi, 30, tells PEOPLE. “But the roads are all closed and people are frankly trying to piece their lives back together right now. No one had time for a birthday party.”

Jodi says she is “so touched” by the kindness people have shown her and her family during this time of tragedy and loss.

“Everyone was so kind to throw Brooklyn that little birthday party. It meant the world to us. I don’t know how to thank them for making her feel special during this hard time,” says Jodi. “I was in tears and just so, so happy.”

The little girl’s father, Jason Howard, says his daughter understands that her house is underwater, but didn’t quite grasp the “reality of the situation.”

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Source: People | Rose Minutaglio, @RoseMinutaglio