Children in foster care often feel forgotten, especially on their birthdays. Simple greetings letting them know you are thinking of them and remembering them on their special day are perfect.
Please remember that these children will not be celebrating their birthday with family and will probably not receive everything they wish for. Sending wishes for a day/year filled with happiness may remind them of what they have lost and what they miss by being in foster care.
Referencing your own child’s birthday or mentioning your own family may be a challenging message for the children receiving Cards of Hope.
Here are some great examples of birthday messages:
“Hope your birthday is as special as you are.”
“Your birthday is the perfect time to remind you what a wonderful person you are.”
“I am holding you in my heart today.”
“Happy birthday to a smart, strong, brave and totally awesome superhero: you!”
“The world is lucky to have you in it. The day you were born, the world was complete.”
“There’s nothing more special than the day you were born — because that’s the day the whole world became brighter.”
“Know that someone cares for you. There is kindness and goodness in the world.”
We simply want to let these young people know that people care about them and wish them well. Please refrain from offering advice. The best cards just let these youth know they are not alone and remind them that they are strong.
Encouragement cards are frequently given to a child during a difficult transition time, so messages of “have a good day” do not work well for these cards.
Here are some great examples of encouragement messages:
“You got this, I believe in you.”
“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.”
“Sending you positive thoughts as you go through this time of change.”
“Be strong, be you, and let the world be prepared to be amazed.”
“There is no one quite like you. Never forget how special you are.”
“Hang in there. I am rooting for you. You are stronger than you think.”
“I’m cheering you on from (city, state, country).”
“Even though we don’t know each other, I am thinking of you and sending you love.”
“You are unique and amazing, and the world needs you.”
STAFF THANK YOU MESSAGES
Sometimes we like to send thank yous and encouragement cards to the social workers and staff who work at the homes and agencies that Braid partners with. They are with the children every day, caring and guiding them on behalf of all of us. Their work is hard and emotionally draining. Your notes of thanks and support for the work might arrive on just a day when they are feeling discouraged or sad.
CARDS WE NEED MOST RIGHT NOW:
We currently need encouragement cards written to older teens, ages 14-18. These cards will most likely be given to them on a difficult day of transitioning from their current living situation, so wishes for them to ‘have a good day’ are not appropriate for these situations.