With this pandemic, a lot of people have been forced to cancel some very special plans. In the case of a big day for a nine-year-old little girl, cancelling wasn't on the minds of a community. 

When you haven't had very many birthdays yet, nine-years-old is a big one. 

"She loves birthdays, anybody's birthday, especially her own she loves," smiled Franklin mom Angie Atema. "We just wanted to make it special for her."

Angie had a big party planned for her little girl, Lily, but with the pandemic, it had to be cancelled. 

"We've been pretty much self-isolated since they closed the schools," said Angie. "She's missing her friends. She has down syndrome, so there's that perspective. She loves to see people."

Angie thought Lily's ninth birthday might just have to be with family at the house, a quiet ninth. That's not how it turned out. 

Tuesday afternoon, Lily sat on a chair with her family outside as dozens of cars carrying balloons and signs drove by. 

Staying isolated inside their vehicles, families had something to tell Lily.

"Happy Birthday!" some shouted as they drove by. Others rolled down their windows, stopped their cars and sang for a few moments. 

"It's amazing," said Angie. "It's amazing in times like these that people are stepping up. It's awesome."

Lily blew a kiss to the cars as they continued driving past her home. 

"Even though we're in isolation, we want to have that little social touch point we can have with people," Angie continued. "Oh my gosh, sorry. I'm going to cry."

It turned out nine was a pretty special birthday after all. 

"It makes you believe there are awesome people out there with kind hearts that want to help a little girl have a great birthday," said Angie.


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