A 10-year-old gets the birthday of a lifetime after no one says they're coming.
True
Facebook

It's a rare occurrence when a professional football player shows up to your 10th birthday party. Especially when he wasn't originally invited.

But then again, Mackenzie Moretter's 10th birthday didn't turn out to be your average party.


All images by Keighla's Fresh Face Photography, used with permission.

Mackenzie lives in Shakopee, Minnesota, and had planned on celebrating her big day with kids her age in her backyard.

When every single guest declined Mackenzie's invitation, it looked like her birthday party was going to fall through.

Heartbreak and panic began to set in. Mackenzie's mom, Jenny Moretter, knew she needed to figure out a backup plan fast.

Mackenzie was born with a rare genetic disorder called Sotos syndrome that's made it difficult for her to make friends. The disorder has caused developmental delays and excessive physical growth during her childhood.

"She’s bubbly and she’s caring when you get to know her," Jenny told Upworthy. With Mackenzie's party only a day away — and no one coming — she knew she had to do something.

Jenny got online and, quite hesitantly, started posting her family's predicament in some local groups on Facebook.

Her goal was to hopefully get a couple of moms to bring their kids over to say "happy birthday" to Mackenzie. Nothing big.

But that's not what happened.

The posts she put up on Facebook received a ton of responses and spread to other groups — and then nationally. News stations began to call their house. Community members started asking to help plan the party. Local businesses committed to catering and decorating. A GoFundMe campaign was set up to cover all of the costs. A Facebook invite launched. The party went from being held in their small backyard to a local park. All within 11 hours.

Image by Facebook, used with permission.

The next day, when Mackenzie and her family showed up at the park, they couldn't believe what they saw.

Elsa from Frozen was there.

NFL Vikings player Charles Johnson came by with his family.


A DJ was there. Local firefighters showed up. A photographer, too. The place was flowing with pizza and cupcakes. A dream!

More than 350 complete strangers came out to celebrate Mackenzie's big day.

The mayor of their town Shakopee even declared it "Mackenzie Moretter Day." How many 10-year-olds get a day named after them?!

"I have a hard time making friends in school, but thanks to all of you … my voice was heard," Mackenzie told the crowd, according to KARE 11. "I love you all."


It's a day that will be remembered forever.

"I can’t explain it," Jenny said. "It was the most amazing thing that could have happened to our family. The outpouring support of strangers. People sending cards and calling. We received cards from all over the world: China, Ireland, even a personal letter from a supreme court judge."

And best of all? It's helped Mackenzie to find her voice.

"She speaks her mind freely now and is more confident."

Sometimes things don't go as expected in life, and sometimes your backup plan turns into the greatest plan of all.

"It's showed me the importance of spreading a message of acceptance, tolerance and love beyond just our home. And it's given Mackenzie a new voice and confidence, I never thought I'd see. This has truly been a life-changing experience for our whole family."

It's the ultimate gift. See more from Mackenzie's special day in this KARE 11 exclusive:

True

This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Acts of kindness and compassion are always inspiring. A veterinarian gave a different spin on the phrase "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

The poor little pup in this video walked into this shelter with a history of being abused. He was so traumatized that he wasn't eating. The vet treating him wasn't sure what to do, so he decided to book a table for two: a the dog's place. It is not clear whether he got an official invite from the canine in question, but he felt pretty safe about showing up unannounced. He walked into the cage and sat down next to the dog. With his back up against the corner of his new (and hopefully temporary) domain, the rescue stared apprehensively at his human guest. The vet presented a dog dish with food and put it in front of the dog. The frightened pup just looked at the dish and made no attempt to eat. Then he broke out another dog dish identical to the one he just gave to his four-legged patient and started eating out of that bowl. And then came the turning point.


Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
True

When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

Keep Reading Show less

Do you know that guy who has never had an issue with his TV/internet provider? Neither do I. If you claim you have never had issues with your bill going up without warning, then you are either lying or you own the cable company. Jake Lawson apparently does not own a cable company, and was prepared to communicate his frustrations regarding his bill in a most creative way.

First off, Jake understands what everyone should realize. The customer service representative doesn't own the cable company either, so yelling at someone who is just trying to make a living like all of us is not the answer. Their job is hard enough as it is so give them a break. Jake gave them more than a break. He gave them a song.


Keep Reading Show less