I read this story this morning and it played with my emotions;

One minute I was devastated and the next my heart was warmed by the generosity of a community.

You see, 10 year old Mackenzie Moretter from Minnesota, has a rare genetic disorder called Sotos Syndrome that has delayed her development.  Complications that included her skull not forming correctly as a baby has meant that since she was a toddler, she has not been able to socialise well.

This year, despite Mackenzie primarily spending all her time at school alone because “while the kids at school seem to like her they don’t socialise with her”, she told her mother she wanted “a big girl party” for her tenth birthday. Just like all the other girls at school do.  She wanted friends from school to come over, play games and have a cake.

Of course she did. What 10 year old child wouldn’t want this particularly if they’ve never had a party that included anyone other than family before?

Here’s where I get mad. Furious even.

Out of everyone in her class that was invited, she received a couple of “Sorry we can’t make it”s and no one else bothered to respond to their invitations at all.

Now I don’t know about you but in our house, it doesn’t matter who has invited you to their party, the invitation and the person is treated with the utmost respect.  Even if they are not in your close group of friends at school and you’ve been invited, you go.  Of course if we already have something on that can’t be moved, we decline but there is no way I would let any of my children fabricate an excuse not to attend or simply not reply.

Where are people’s manner and common decency?

Regardless of whether Mackenzie is top of the class, top of the ‘cool kids’ tree or a little delayed socially through no fault of her own, they should have all shown up or respected the invitation with a reply.

God bless her mother Jenny who went into ‘protect her cub’ mode and decided that if the class wouldn’t play nice, she’d look for a community of beautiful souls who would.

She posted Mackenzie’s birthday party on facebook. She hoped that she’d get lots of likes, some Happy Birthday Mackenzie wishes and maybe even a few families would show up for the party at their house.

There is light; the community wrapped their arms around the Moretter family.

Suddenly, more than 700 people joined a Facebook event she titled ‘Mackenzie’s Birthday Party’ with hundreds advising they would be there on Saturday for Mackenzie’s party.

Not only were they showing up but offers started rolling in from businesses around the community for a Frozen themed birthday cake (big enough to feed hundreds), food, drinks and someone even made a huge banner saying “Happy Birthday Mackenzie”.  Aaaaah.

© Facebook

The birthday party took on a life of its own, was moved to a local park to accommodate everyone and even the Mayor prepared a very special birthday document for Mackenzie!

© Facebook
© Facebook

Mackenzie couldn’t wipe the smile from her face, her parents were overwhelmed by the generosity of the community and even those who joined in the party couldn’t have felt better.

This should never have had to happen in the first place. Jenny Moretter should never have had to resort to facebook.

The children who received an invitation should have attended willingly; to celebrate with a classmate. And even if they didn’t want to, their parents should have shown them the right way to behave.

But it did. And I have to say that I feel better knowing it had a happy ending. Perhaps next year, Mackenzie will have a new group of friends, all found at the park, to invite to another “big girl party”. You go girl!

Have you ever had a situation where your child has been really let down for a special celebration? Does your child struggle fitting in at school? What do you wish you could say to those children and their parents?

Main image courtesy of Facebook
  • So terrible that one has to reach out to strangers because those who knew you couldn’t be bothered.


  • At first I was sad and crying because kids can be so cruel to other kids and in this case I blame their parents becuse they should know better! And then I was crying becuse of happiness! The community did a great thing and I applaud them for it! Happy B’day Mackenzie:)


  • I’m hearing more stories like this recently and while in one regard it highlights the lack of empathy and basic decency people have these days, it is a rare example of the positive power of social media. I hope Mackenzie had a birthday to remember!


  • can i just add that kids aren’t born judgemental but society and parents will change this.


  • Its nice to see people supporting her!


  • so heart felt I simply love this McKenzie is one very special and much loved little girl


  • l really love reading these it s so greet


  • This story made me all goose bumpy!!


  • good to read


  • Unfortunately this is not an isolated occurrence, happens to many ostracised kids :-( .


  • My oldest has suffered like this and we had to get others to help. My hubby’s work place had a party for him and all the children of the workers came. It was about having a good time and he did. Another child we could not get classmates to his party so at the work party we had Santa give him an extra present, a birthday present. he was 11 but was surprised that Santa knew it was his birthday that day.


  • Love that this worked out in the end. Happy birthday


  • Wonderful community spirit! Delighted that she had a wonderful party. Parents are role models and they should be leading by example! RSVP is still relevant today and it is incredibly rude not to RSVP to an invitation. It only takes a moment to RSVP and we make a sorry card with a small gift if unable to attend an event.


  • yes at least her mother has done this for her. a wonderful lady


  • I have to say this is a touching story… A story that shows the power of a dedicated mum.


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