The letter below was attached with my birthday party invitations this past year.
Dear Friends and Family,
Instead of birthday gift this year I am asking everyone to make a donation to Facing It
Together in my name. Facing It Together is a nonprofit organization with a mission to
improve the lives of children and adults in South Florida with craniofacial disorders.
Facing It Together provides money to pay for medical services that are not covered by
insurance such as speech therapy and orthodontics.
This charity is important to me because I have a cleft palate. I learned about this charity
from my surgeon Dr. Eric Stelniki. Over the past few years I have attended many of the
social events put on by "Facing it Together". These events include the annual getting to
know you Bar B Q and the Back to School How to Deal with Teasing and Bullies Seminar.
As I am getting older "toys" are no longer that important to me so this is the perfect
opportunity for me to learn the gift of giving.
Every penny counts please understand that we are not asking anyone to donate a
specific amount. What ever you wish to donate from 5 dollars to 5 thousand dollars any
amount will be fine.
Thank you all in advance for your kindness and generosity. I hope that my birthday
mission will be a success and that this is something I can continue to do for years to
I was so excited that my Birthday Mission was a success. I was featured as facing it Together's 2007 Child of the Month. I plan to continue to this project in the years to come.
At first I thought the most exciting part of my birthday mission was the total amount of money I raised for the Facing it Together Foundation, then I thought, after getting to meet the boy that had surgery with the money I collected that putting a name and face with the person that my donations helped was the best part, but I was wrong. The best part of giving up my gifts for my birthday in lieu of donations is the fact that I started a trend at my school. Since my birthday in December I have been invited to 3 other parties of my classmates that are also asked guests not to bring them gifts but to instead make a donation in their name to a local charity. It is really neat when your friends stand behind you.