An East Tennessee girl received the birthday wish of a lifetime thanks to deputies with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.
9-year-old Trinity Presley only had one wish for her birthday: She wanted to spend it with her friend — deputy and K-9 handler Zach Gilpin.
The two met a few months ago when Gilpin brought his K-9 to Trinity's school. As her ninth birthday approached, she told her aunt she only wanted to celebrate with Gilpin.
"I was a little shocked at first, but when she had met him at North last year, she just went on and on about how he was so funny and so nice," Trinity's aunt Andrea Presley said.
Gilpin said he knew Trinity was special after their first meeting.
"She's as sweet as can be," Gilpin said. "She has a big heart. And she likes us, and we like her."
Trinity is a big helper to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. She decided to make homemade pillows for children taken out of bad situations by the sheriff's office.
So far, she has made about 435 pillows and is looking to make more to comfort these children.
"What she's done for other kids making them pillows and things, I mean she has a big heart so we gotta show it back to her," Gilpin said.
When Gilpin heard that Trinity's birthday wish was to spend time with him, he went above and beyond to make the day special. Gilpin raised about $400 from people in the sheriff's office to help throw Trinity a birthday celebration to remember.
On Sept. 26 he picked Trinity up and drove her to Cancun Mexican Restaurant in Crossville where she was shocked to find about half the sheriff's office waiting just to honor her on her big day.
"It was surprising," Trinity said.
The 9-year-old spent the day surrounded by some of her sheriff's office family as they ate a troll-themed decorative vanilla cake and watched her open presents. The Kindle she received was one of her personal favorites.
Cumberland County Sheriff Casey Cox said days like these are what their job is all about. He said it's always great to see his deputies bonding with youth in the community, especially someone as special as Trinity.
"She has a gang at the sheriff's office, a group of men and women at the sheriff's office that truly 100 percent care about her," Cox said.
Trinity said her favorite part about the day was taking pictures with all the people who came out to celebrate and laughing as Gilpin threw whipped cream in her face.
"It was great. I think we'd like to do it all over again," Gilpin said. "I hope she always remembers it, because I know we will."
Trinity is continuing to make pillows for the sheriff's office. If you would like to help, you can donate stuffing or fabric to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office at 90 Justice Center Drive in Crossville.
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