Knoxville, Tenn. (WVLT) Most parents do something special for their child's first birthday.
And one single dad did that, but made it even more memorable.
James Murray Threipland threw a big bash for Emma Claire, "Cake, balloons, it was a princess party. Pink everywhere in a man's house. Everyone loved it, we had a bouncy castle there, and popcorn machine too."
And when James invited guests, he requested they skip the gifts, and bring a donation to Childhelp, an agency that helps abused and neglected children.
"They do such a wonderful job and it's such a hard job to do. Hard subject to deal with. I just admire them everyday what they do," says James.
And the (40) guests showed their volunteer spirit, helping Emma Claire collect 710 dollars!
Her daddy says, "We are going to put a picture in a frame and in ten or twenty years she can look back and have that in her mind that she gave back on her first birthday."
Daddy and daughter hand delivered the check on Tuesday, July 16th, Emma Claire's actual birthday.
She waved the check around the air a few times in a playful manner in front of the director of Childhelp, Hugh Nystrom, before she finally let go. (She made all of us laugh!)
Nystrom says, "I think its a great way when raising kids to start establishing values and be a giver to your charity or church. It's a great life lesson to start at an early age. So we are absolutely grateful, thrilled and so excited."
But with a bash this big for her first birthday, raising over 700 dollars, we asked Emma Claire's daddy, what's on tap for next year?
He says the birthday celebration won't be as extravagant, and he is going to contribute to Childhelp every year, out of his own pocket.
James says, "I told everyone whatever we raise on her first birthday we will come down donate the same the following years. So, it will give me a year to save up!"
Childhelp deals with about 1300 cases yearly in Tennessee. They desperately need foster families.
Two events are coming up that could also use your help. Grab the link for more information.