Local organizations help celebrate quinceañera with special-needs child

With a giant and colorful Happy Birthday sign on the front yard, balloons, dozens of gifts and a brand-new quinceañera dress, Alexis Delgado, a special-needs child, celebrated her 15th birthday Tuesday morning outside of her home located in the Southmost area of town.

The celebration kicked off minutes before 10 a.m. with a parade by the Brownsville Police Department and continued with the “unveiling” of a new ramp at the home’s main entrance that allows Alexis’ wheelchair to be rolled easily by her family every day.

Down by the Border, Prestige Home Builders, Capable Kids, H-E-B and Brownsville PD are some of the organizations who made the celebration possible by getting together to find a way to provide the ramp. In addition, new air conditioners were installed on the same day and the exterior of the home received a new paint job.

“ The way this happened is that we came here to leave a food bank delivery that H-E-B sponsored, and Capable Kids and Down by the Border are part of. When we came here, we noticed that this ramp had a bunch of nails sticking out, halfway up it was coming off and then up when it connects to the house there was a big gap,” Sergio Zarate, founder of Down by the Border, said.

“ So H-E-B, Ms. Linda Tovar, said ‘we have to do something about it, this is not right’ and she uses this every day to get in and out. We reached out to Prestige Home Builders and I asked how much they would charge us and they came and measured and saw the little girl and what this was about so they sponsored it.”

Audrey Guerra, H-E-B public affairs specialist, said it’s so important to be connected with the community and different nonprofit organizations that serve the same purpose to ensure that they can take care of the children and make them feel included and special just like everyone else.

“ Today is all about inclusion. We met Alexis a couple of weeks back and we found out it was her soon-to-be quinceañera, and so, during the pandemic we are aiding and assisting families and we just felt the need to bring a lot of organizations together and to celebrate her,” Guerra said.

“ It was an opportunity to make her feel, during these tough times, that every little girl in our Mexican culture deserves a quinceañera. We want to let her know how special she is.”

During the celebration, attendees danced to the rhythm of modern music as Alexis and her mother, Miriam Delgado, enjoyed the celebration and smiled. Other attendees took out their smartphones to capture the moment with videos and photographs.

Luis Arevalo, CEO Prestige Home Builders, said it is important to focus on the positive impact that can be done in the community, with all the tragic events that are going on around the country. He said it is important to help as much as he can.

“ This is something more productive to focus on instead of going through all the negativity to create something positive,” he said. “I know it’s something small, it’s a little grain, but we all can put a little part of ourselves in something.”