NewsLocal News


Birthday boxes: A family turning tragedy into something to honor their heavenly boys

Posted at 7:04 PM, Oct 18, 2023

PAPILLION, Neb. (KMTV) — Decorations, friends, family and of course cake — all things that make a birthday party a birthday party. To help give back to kids who aren't able to have a celebration, Jeff and Laura Evans donate birthday supplies and make birthday boxes out of them.

Gathering supplies from donation money they've received, the Evans went shopping with their youngest boys, Archie and Barrett for cake candles, frosting and more.

"Four years ago we lost our, our twins Jude and Everett and uh… the first year we were kind of a mess on their birthday," said Jeff.

On Jude and Everett's second birthday, they decided to channel those emotions into something they say would make their boys proud.

"Our first year when they turned two we did it first and we had 75 boxes?" said Laura.

"Yeah 75 or 80. Last year we ended up with 475 total."

It gained attention. Jeff and Laura are co-owners of the restaurant, PizzaWest and shared a post on their Facebook page which was then shared to the group Omaha Food Lovers, catching people like Mary Jo Bassett's attention.

"I'm a former teacher and I did a lot of celebrating of birthdays at school and um… we actually had a set of twins ourselves that died so… it's a nice way for me to be able to pay it forward and help other people," said Bassett.

Paying it forward and on November 3rd, a day before the twins golden birthday, the Evan's will deliver as many birthday boxes as they can to local food pantries. Last year, Food Bank for the Heartland was one of them.

"We know that when a child receives that, they will just get a smile on their face and sometimes for us that's all that matters," said Stephanie Sullivan, the assistant director of marketing and communications.

Making kids smile, both here and for the Evan's little ones in Heaven.

"It's definitely nice to be able to get some joy out of it just cause it is a, you know a hard time for both of us obviously but it, you know, to be able to spin it into something good it does make it it feel like you know, there's some silver lining to it for sure," said Jeff.

This year the family is hoping to make 500 boxes to honor Jude and Everett's golden birthday. Birthday supplies can be donated to either PizzaWest location. More information on how and what you can donate can be found on the PizzaWest Facebook page.

Download our apps today for all of our latest coverage.

Get the latest news and weather delivered straight to your inbox.