Kim Raus said she has added employees during the pandemic as business has increased. (Courtesy Cypress Yard Greetings)
Cypress residents ndways to help kids celebrate birthdays fromhome F rom organizing car parades to planting celebratory signs in yards, Cypress residents are working to make birthdays special for families who are forced to spend special occasions at home during the coronavirus pandemic. BY DANICA SMITHWICK
a parade, and Facebook events are created within the group to let other members know when parades will take place. Drivers typically meet in a nearby parking lot and pass by the birthday boy or girl’s home honking and waving with between 20-50 vehicles participating. “People aren’t working, so they’re not tired from a day at work, and it’s easy to go,” Feld said. “Everyone loves the feeling you get when you do it—and just to get out of the house, period.” Kim Raus, who has owned Cypress Yard Greet- ings for six years, said her yard sign rental business has quadrupled during the pandemic as families staying home look to celebrate birthdays as well as graduations, anniversaries and new babies, among other occasions. Customers can personalize and rent signs online for approximately 24 hours for a $95 fee. Raus said her two sons and ve employees—armed with gloves, masks and Lysol—are able to install and pick up greetings in clients’ yards with no contact. “I have had to hire more employees and extended work hours to delivering and picking up throughout the day rather than just in the evenings,” Raus said in an email. “I feel very fortunate to be able to bring smiles to families during these trying times.”
Leslie Feld said she had tears in her eyes the rst time she joined her neighbors in a car parade to celebrate a local child’s birthday in early April. The ve-year resident of the Faireld community in Cypress said this was the rst time in a while she found herself thinking about something other than COVID-19. She launched a Facebook group April 5 dedicated to organizing car parades for children celebrating birthdays in her neighborhood while stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures are in place. “I knew we had to do this as many times as we could to give all the kids in Faireld that same joy,” she said. “I went straight home and created the group. My purpose was that these kids would have a memorable birthday experience when a tradi- tional party wasn’t an option.” As of May 12, Faireld Car Parades had more than 1,000 members. Members can message Feld or fellow volunteer Rachelle Dickerson to request
Leslie Feld and her son Cole lead car parades through Faireld to help children celebrate their birthdays. (Courtesy Leslie Feld)
Cypress Yard Greetings has helped residents celebrate at home. (Courtesy Cypress Yard Greetings)
Cypress YardGreetings 832-878-7287
www.cypressyardgreetings.com Faireld Car Parades www.facebook.com/groups/146732950105284
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