Many foster youth never receive cards for holidays, birthdays, or “just because.” Our Cards of Hope program makes sure they do.

Throughout the year, we send cards for birthdays (for youth ages 6-16). We also send cards of encouragement to youth and to their staff and social workers.

You can send us a few cards whenever you are inspired – birthday cards, encouragement cards, or both.

When we receive notification from our partner organizations about upcoming birthdays, we will mail a selection of cards to each child. We have several birthdays each month, and we send encouragement cards to youth and social workers throughout the year. This is a great activity to do with a youth group, co-workers, or family members!

Because of legal guidelines protecting the youth we serve, we are not able to share the names, genders, or ages of the children in advance. (Except at Christmas – read our Cards of Hope FAQs to learn more.)

How To Send Cards

  1. Choose a fun selection of birthday and/or encouragement cards (for youth and/or social workers) and please write a message inside each one. Your message doesn’t need to be elaborate. You can simply wish them well and let them know you are thinking of them on their birthday or “just because.” Please sign your first name inside the card, and tell them where you live if you’d like.
  2. Please leave the envelopes unsealed. Write your first name, city, and state in the return-address portion of the envelope and leave the rest blank.
  3. Put your card(s) in a larger envelope and mail them to:
    Braid Mission
    Cards of Hope
    312 Georgia St., Suite 235
    Vallejo CA 94590
    -We appreciate when you send stamps and/or stickers with your cards. Please include stamps separately and do not place them on the envelopes.
  4. We take care of the rest!

[Yes, we are still accepting cards during COVID!]

You can contribute toward postage and the cost of birthday cakes and other gifts for the children at our online donation page (put “birthday cakes” or “Cards of Hope” in the comments section).

You can read our Cards of Hope FAQs if you have more questions about the process.

To hear the latest news about Braid and Cards of Hope and learn about special initiatives to collect cards and toys for Christmas and other holidays, please scroll to the bottom of the page to sign up for our monthly e-news.

Thank you notes:

from a young person:

“I got cards when I went back to school – they made me smile. Plus, they had cool stickers too.”

from group home staff:

“I handed one of our younger youth a set of encouragement cards and she shared that she had never received mail before. She noticed that the cards had come from places all over the U.S. and thought that that was ‘so cool’… A few days later, when I came to meet with the youth again, she had all of the cards neatly arranged on the wall in her room. It’s been a few months since she received the cards and they are still up in her room.”

“We have one youth with limited family – she was turning 9 and none of her family was able to come for her birthday, which was really hard for her. When we handed her a stack of handwritten birthday cards, she smiled and spent time reading each individual message. The cards contained everything she needed to hear. That she was important. That she was loved. And that she was special.”