A mother in Shakopee, Minnesota, appealed on Facebook for people to attend her daughter’s birthday without bringing any gifts, but simply to wish her a “Happy Birthday”.
Mackenzie, who was turning 10 years old on April 18th, had sent out invitations to her party, but her mother, Jenny, received no response from the parents of the invited children.
Jenny suspected it was due to her daughter’s speech and learning difficulties, which made it hard for her to make friends at school. In her Facebook post, Jenny described Mackenzie’s loving personality and her struggles with loneliness on the school playground.
She reached out to mothers with daughters aged 9-11, inviting them to the birthday party and reassuring them that they didn’t need to bring gifts or stay long, but just to stop by and wish Mackenzie a happy birthday.
Shortly after the post went up, two mothers of girls messaged Jenny to say they would come to the party. As the message was shared, it quickly went viral and caught the attention of Channel 4 and Channel 9, who both wanted to cover the story of the birthday girl. The post also resulted in an outpouring of support, with people offering donations of food, entertainment, performers, and gifts.
With more than 100 people planning to attend the party, Jenny realized they needed a larger space. Luckily, the mayor stepped in and offered space at one of the parks.
On Mackenzie’s birthday, over 500 people, young and old, showed up at the park to celebrate with her. All of this was made possible because of the simple request of a loving mother asking for a few friends to wish her daughter a happy birthday.