The following was written and distributed by the Foster Coalition on behalf of OneSimpleWish.org
WILKESBORO, NC, February 15, 2016 – On February 12, Kristen (not her real name), a 9-year old living in foster care in Wilkesboro, NC, got the surprise of her young life—balloons, flowers, cupcakes for her school classmates, and nearly 500 Valentine’s Day cards sent to her by caring people across the United States, including other foster children and at-risk youth living in group homes.
Adjusting to life in foster care has been difficult for Kristen. That’s when Kristen’s foster mom Angela (last name intentionally withheld) decided to cheer up Kristen by placing a Valentine’s Day wish for flowers and balloons on a national wish granting platform for foster youth called One Simple Wish.
To make the day extra special, the One Simple Wish team added cupcakes for Kristen’s class at school to the wish, and they put out requests across social media and to their donor database asking for volunteers around the country to mail Valentine’s Day cards to Kristen.
“The outpouring of love has been overwhelming,” Angela said. “We received nearly 500 Valentine’s Day cards from as far away as Los Angeles. The flowers, balloons and cupcakes really made this wonderful little girl who’s been struggling with her situation feel special.”
A Wisconsin man donated the flowers and balloons while an anonymous donor purchased the cupcakes.
“This is the best Valentines ever. I was so surprised, and I think my friends really liked the cupcakes. I am so thankful,” Kristen said. “It’s going to take me a year to read all these cards. Can reading my cards count as my reading homework?”
Kristen also mentioned that she had never gotten flowers before and marveled that she’ll get to keep the vase.
According to Kid’s Count Data Center, more than 14,000 children enter North Carolina’s foster care system each year.
Angela added, “The kids in foster care are just like any other kids, except they’ve been thrust into difficult life situations that they didn’t cause and can’t control. Just letting these kids know that someone cares, that there are people who want them to be happy, makes a world of difference. They deserve to be loved and cherished like all children.”
Anyone interested in foster parenting should contact the Foster Parent Association of Wilkes at 336-902-4449 or visit http://fpawilkescounty.org.
One Simple Wish allows anyone to make a direct difference in the lives of foster children and vulnerable families by granting them simple wishes through the website www.onesimplewish.org. Most wishes range in value from $5-$100, making wish granting simple and affordable. One Simple Wish has been featured on CNN, NBC Nightly News, The Katie Couric Show and The Nate Berkus Show, among many others. In October 2013, One Simple Wish founder Danielle Gletow was chosen as a Top 10 CNN Hero among tens of thousands of nominees worldwide.