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Pay it Forward: Devin's Destiny cheers homeless kids

By Alicia Inns
Published On: Sep 23 2013 10:04:04 PM CDT

There are more than 900 homeless children in Central Oregon, and many probably don't get to celebrate their birthdays with a party. In this month's Pay it Forward, Alicia Inns surprises one organization hoping to change that.

BEND, Ore. -

Everyone has a birthday, but not every kid gets a chance to celebrate it.

Enter Devin's Destiny.

"Every kid should know how important or feel important on their day," said Manager Brandon DeLuca.

Devin DeLuca is the inspiration behind the organization.

"He had a fascination with the homeless community and also with children, especially with children who didn't have it as well as me or he did growing up," DeLuca said.

Three years ago, Devin took his own life after suffering from depression.

His brother Brandon, along with family and friends, wanted to do something in his honor and help homeless children.

"Probably the most caring, giving kids, young men I've ever met in my life," DeLuca said.

The organization works behind the scenes to get names of homeless children from nonprofit organizations.

Then they organize a birthday party -- 25 to 30 of them a month -- using donations from people like you.

"I go out and try and find a gift that matches his or her personality, then I wrap it and then I set up a home party or pizza party or park party," DeLuca explained.

Then he leaves, before the kids even get there. DeLuca has actually never been to one of the parties he's thrown.

"My brother was always, always doing nice things for other people, but he never took credit. So it's important for him to honor that as well," he said.

Linda Johnson is on the board at Devin's Destiny and has seen the impact it has on local kids.

"I've seen their heart, their passion and what they've been able to do, and I just thought it was the perfect match," Johnson said.

That's why she nominated Devin's Destiny, and we are honored to announce she is this month's "Pay it Forward" winner.

On behalf of Co-Energy Propane, Mid-Oregon Credit Union and NewsChannel 21, we gave Johnson $500 to Pay it Forward and surprise the crew at Devin's Destiny.

"$500 simply put can change 10 kids' lives forever. I mean, is that not worth $500?" Deluca said after getting the happy surprise.

It's a need that's much greater than just 10 kids, but helping one child at a time makes all the difference. And it's what Devin would have wanted.

"It makes me feel closer to him every day. I just want to make him proud," DeLuca said.

If you want to donate to Devin's Destiny, visit http://www.devinsdestiny.org/index.html

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