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.” Sign your name, 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: we will address them for you.
  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
    -Including stamps and/or stickers with your cards is much appreciated.
  4. We take care of the rest! We will address the envelopes and mail them individually to each child by their birthday.

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 emails received from a social worker at the group home after Christmas 2018 —

“The children were over the moon…THE MOON with all the cards. It took them over a week to go through all of them because each wanted to take their time and read them word for word. All of our kids who were lucky to be able to go with a loved one during Christmas insisted on taking the cards with them so they could share them with their families. And the gifts!! My word, the gifts were all HUGE HITS! The kids have spent an inordinate amount of time outside with their new goals and balls. Also trying out those telescopes in the middle of the day (because they are too impatient to wait for nighttime!) When I left one of the houses today all the kids were sitting around the table doing various arts and crafts with their new kits. I don’t think I’ve ever heard them that quiet. There really are no words…I know I say this all the time, but truly, I am just so speechless with the generosity of your donors. The way the kids’ eyes light up, the way they all say “This is for me?” as we hand them their bundle, it’s just so beautiful and magical. I so wish we could photograph those moments to share. Thank you thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”


after one of our mentors and her coworkers prepared gift bags with encouragement cards and beanie babies: 

“The girls in my house were in disbelief that someone out there got them their beanies, not quite understanding why anyone would care about them if they didn’t know them. The girls took their beanies and are currently displaying them on their beds. One of the young girls took all the positivity cards and placed them throughout her room so that she could be reminded of happy thoughts throughout the day.

Same thing happened at our other home. One little boy spread all the cards on his bed and stared at them for a long time, asking staff to come in and read some of the words he didn’t understand (he’s one of our younger kids). All of them have their beanies on their beds, or in their room in an area of display. Usually they’ll take their toys and put them in their closet or back box, but all our kids have them out, which shows how much they loved them.”