Complete strangers from around Minnesota showed up to a ten-year-old girl’s birthday party, after her classmates didn’t respond to their invitations, to help give her a celebration she won’t forget.
Living with Sotos Syndrome — a rare genetic disorder that has delayed her development, which makes it difficult for her to socialize, Mackenzie Moretter told her parents that she wanted a “big-girl party” for her tenth birthday.
However, after her parents sent out invitations to the girl’s classmates and got no response, her mother Jenny took a different approach. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Mackenzie Moretter, of Shakopee, Minnesota, had a tenth birthday party on Saturday that she’ll never forget, after hundreds of strangers showed up to celebrate with her.
2. Mackenzie’s parents had sent out invitations to several of her fourth grade classmates, but all but a neighbor and a cousin had canceled or did not RSVP.
The mother posted in a few local Facebook groups, asking families with girls Mackenzie’s age to stop by their home in Shakopee, Minnesota, on Saturday — and the response exceeded anything she could have hoped for. She told CBS Minnesota:
I want so much for much for Mackenzie to belong and for her to have friends and people to accept her for who she is.
Mackenzie told KSMP that she is often alone on the playground, explaining that “kids don’t want to play me”.
Jenny Moretter said that children seem to like Mackenzie, however they don’t seem to socialize with her.
3. So Mackenzie’s mother went on Facebook and posted in several groups asking families with girls Mackenzie’s age to stop by their family home to celebrate.
4. She received an overwhelmingly positive response and more than 700 people joined an event titled, “Mackenzie’s Birthday Party”.
But after receiving no RSVPs and having families of Mackenzie’s fourth-grade classmates cancel, Jenny wanted to do something about it. She said:
I thought to myself, it is not going to happen again this year.
She hoped with her Facebook appeal to get comments from people wishing her daughter a happy birthday and maybe a few families turning up at her family’s house. She told CBS:
I honestly thought it would be a matter of a few other moms out there who I touched their heartstrings.
However, more than 700 people joined “Mackenzie’s Birthday Party” — a Facebook event she created.
5. Strangers of all ages showed up at a Shakopee park on Saturday to celebrate Mackenzie’s tenth birthday.
6. People came with gifts, food, chairs and even a banner that read, “Happy Birthday Mackenzie” to be hung from the sheltered area in the park.
The girl’s father, Matt Moretter, was just as surprised as his wife. He told Buzzfeed:
Jenny was hoping to get ten girls to show up and all of a sudden this happened. We had hundreds of people arrive on Saturday.
The party was so big, it had to be moved to a local park, where city officials hosted the family.
People came with gifts, food and party favors. One person even a brought a banner which read, “Happy Birthday Mackenzie”.
7. Shakopee Mayor issued a proclamation announcing that Saturday would be Mackenzie Moretter Day in the city, giving the girl a signed certificate of the declaration.
8. Mackenzie made new friends of all ages throughout the day. She said before the party that kids at her school don’t want to play with her so she’s often by herself on the playground.
Local companies donated food for the party, people brought chairs and a woman even dressed as Elsa from the movie Frozen.
And Shakopee’ Mayor announced that Saturday would be Mackenzie Moretter Day and gave the girl a signed certificate of the declaration.
Jenny Moretter later went to Facebook to thank everyone who touched her family and made her daughter’s birthday a day she will always remember. She wrote:
I’m overwhelmed with emotions, my heart has been touched by so many stories similar to mine or just people wishing her a Happy Birthday.
I will never be able to thank you all enough for your kindness.
I will not remember all your names or I may forget what was said or done but just know I am so incredibly grateful and blessed that you cared about my daughter. Love to all.
9. Mackenzie appeared to be all smiles throughout the day on Saturday. Hundreds of people came out to celebrate with her.
10. 300 strangers attend a girl’s party after her mom’s plea — a USA Today report.
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