By Joshua Huff, sports editor
BIRMINGHAM – The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office complied with a local mother’s wishes to provide her son with a special birthday on Saturday as social distancing guidelines have made typical celebrations all but impossible.
The story began when Valencia King reached out to the sheriff’s office through Facebook asking if deputies could provide her son, Zaiderick Hayes, with a unique 13th birthday.
“As a mom you know you’re always looking for ways to make your child’s birthday memorable,” King said. “This year I didn’t know how I was going to make that happen, but I knew that my son loves law enforcement, so I thought maybe I could get them to call him and wish him a Happy Birthday. Sheriff Pettway took it a step further and said we’ll show up and give him a parade, and I was completely floored by the idea.”
So, at noon on Saturday, deputies showed up at the King’s residence in north Birmingham for an impromptu parade through the neighborhood.
“I understand that the new social distancing guidelines may be hard for children to grasp, and I’m a firm believer that we must come together as a community to make this a little easier for everyone,” Sheriff Mark Pettway said. “Birthdays are special and this birthday should be no different, so it is my hope that by us showing up today we’ll be able to bring some cheer to Zaiderick and his family.”
The sheriff’s department added in a release that they hope Hayes’s birthday goes down as one of his best yet.
“Turning 13 is a special occasion and even with social distancing it is to be celebrated as a milestone,” the sheriff’s office said.
You can watch the video of the parade taken by WBRC here.