It was a heartbreaking day when not one child showed up to celebrate four-year-old Evan’s birthday.
Evan sat with his mother, Angel Kazanis, inside a New Jersey Chuck E. Cheese, eagerly waiting for his classmates to arrive.
Evan’s mom had invited all 30 of her son’s preschool classmates for pizza and games, but for whatever reason, not one of them walked through the doors.
“He was looking at the door,” Kazanis told Inside Edition. “You saw the disappointment on his face.”
Despite her broken mother heart, Kazanis did her best to hold it together. She didn’t want Evan to know just how upset she really was.
Chuck E. Cheese employee Taylor Inzinna watched the disappointed duo, sitting at Evan’s reserved party space, alone. Her heart ached for the little boy, and for the mother trying to keep things positive.
“I immediately ran to the kitchen and was so upset,” Inzinna said.
She was impressed with the way Evan’s mother handled the real-life childhood nightmare.
“She held it together and never let Evan know for a second she was upset, which I think was super awesome,” Inzinna said.
Inzinna took it upon herself to try and make Evan feel loved on his fourth birthday. She told friends and family about what happened and asked them to drop off a gift for Evan.
She collected more than a dozen gifts and invited Kazanis and Evan to come back to Chuck E. Cheese for a surprise.
When Evan walked back through the doors, he had piles of gifts to open, handed to him by the Chuck E. Cheese mascot himself.
“The day he came back in, seeing the smile on his face was everything I wanted,” Inzinna said.
Inzinna said she wanted to send a message to Evan and his mom that in spite of disappointment, the world is full of caring people.
“I had one goal that day and my goal was to make sure that he left happy,” she said. “And he left going, ‘Oh my God, Mom, this is the best day ever.'”
Kazanis said the gesture left her fighting back tears.
“They made him feel (like) a million dollars, like he was the most important kid in the whole world,” Kazanis said.
Inzinna has since received heaps of praise online for saving the day, but Inzinna insists the real pleasure was found in Evan’s delighted smile.
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