Hideaway (KYTX) -- A woman is spending her 75th birthday surrounded by friends and gifts-- only the presents aren't for her.
"The real reason is the Children's Advocacy Center," Mary Richardson said.
She and her husband got involved with the Children's Advocacy Center of Smith County a few years ago--a place to help children traumatized by abuse. Since then, she's decided to do things a little differently for her birthday.
"We in America, for the most part, are so greatly blessed. I have more than I need," Richardson said.
She's asked more than 130 of her friends to donate to the Children Advocacy Center's Rainbow Room, which helps local families and children.
"They can shop there for free and get things they need," Richardson said.
Staff explain that the Rainbow Room is a resource for CPS workers.
"They can come and get things that they need for children who have been removed from homes," Terri Smith, Executive Director of the CAC, said.
Last year Mary's birthday yielded over $1,000 to the CAC, in addition to all of the gifts. Close friends say they hope other groups in East Texas emulate what they're doing and issue this challenge: "Please support the Children's Advocacy Center because as Mary pointed out, we have everything we need and these children need so much," Elizabeth Sharkey said.
You can see this 75-year-old is passionate about the cause.
"If we can help these children that are just helpless, we need to do that. It's the right thing to do," Richardson said.
Altogether people who attended Mary's party raised $3,000 for the CAC not counting gifts. Diapers, cleaning supplies and high chairs are just a few things staff say are always needed at the non-profit.