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Denton teen in foster care 'inundated in a beautiful way' by 71 birthday cards from strangers

Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s home asked social media for birthday cards. The response was overwhelming.

DENTON, Texas — Families all over Texas and beyond are sending cards to kids celebrating birthdays at Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home, which serves abused and neglected kids.

“Their birthdays go unnoticed, uncelebrated,” said Courtney Banatoski, president and CEO.

In June, Jainay Locket-Rhodes asked friends and the staff at the home for handwritten cards. They took the request to social media. 

“We have been inundated in a beautiful way,” Banatoski said.

Cards came in from all over the region — 71 in all. Some are hand-drawn, others store-bought, most from complete strangers.

“They actually took time out their day on that day to appreciate me,” Jainay said.

Credit: WFAA
Jainay Locket-Rhodes, who lives in foster care, received 71 birthday cards after a request was posted on social media.

The response was so big, the impact so great, the staff is asking for more cards for more kids to remind them they aren’t forgotten.

“Sometimes when these kids are opening these cards, it’s the first time that they have ever been celebrated,” Banatoski said.

Jainay hopes to see more cards for others at the home.

"Every kid needs to feel special how I felt,” she said.

Because at the end of a difficult year, she says a kind word and a birthday smile can be the best gifts of all.

“There's a lot of people that will actually care for you and sometimes I just can’t see that,” Jainay said.

If you want to send a birthday card to a kid at Cumberland Presbyterian Children’s Home the Facebook page posts regular requests. For the safety of the children, their names are kept private. The next birthdays are:

  • Aug. 5: A boy will turn 12. He likes basketball and the colors red and black.
  • Aug. 8: A girl turns 8. She likes barbie and the colors pink and purple.
  • Aug. 18: A little boy turns 4. He likes superheroes and dark blue and teal.

Please send all cards to:

Pastor Katie

c/o Birthday Boy or Birthday Girl

909 Greenlee Street, Denton, TX 76201

Envelopes should not include anything other either a store-bought or hand-drawn birthday card with a kind message and signature. Please no cash or checks. Donations can be made at cpch.org.

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