• ../../../images/Article_pics/March2018/march29/birthdayletters/images/kells.jpg

    Piper reads one of the many sent to her for her 10th Birthday. (Submitted photo)

  • ../../../images/Article_pics/March2018/march29/birthdayletters/images/letters.jpg

    Dozens of cards and letters arrived from all over Canada and abroad. (Photo by Patricia Lebeouf, Petawawa Post)



Local family awed by outpouring of kindness for daughter’s 10th birthday

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday March 29, 2018

Piper Kells never had a birthday party in her life.

So when her parents agreed to let her have a ski-themed party when she turned 10, she was ecstatic to spend time with her friends and classmates on the slope. But that soon turned to disappointment when notice came back that no one could come.

Seeing their child so distraught, Aidann and Master Corporal Jason Kells cooked up an alternative. Making a post on Facebook’s Canadian Military Spouses! page, they asked for birthday cards to cheer their daughter up. What happened next shocked and humbled the couple.

Dozens upon dozens of cards, as well as gifts, started appearing from all across Canada and abroad. “I’m just blown away,” said Aidann. “Honestly, when I first did this, I didn’t expect one card to come in.”

Since making the Facebook post, they’ve been receiving bundles of cards every day in the mail. So many cards that they’ve filled an entire bin with them. “It’s extremely shocking,” said Jason. “To be honest, I didn’t believe right off the bat that cards would be coming in the mail.”

Their son Caleb, 8, helped collect the cards and enjoyed keeping the secret from his older sister. “He’s feeling pretty proud,” said Aidann.

Many children whose parents serve in the Canadian Armed Forces move around a lot and aren’t necessarily able to make friends quickly. Receiving encouraging words from so many people can make a world of difference to their morale, said Aidann. “Sometimes you don’t see a lot of kindness around you,” she said. “But it was a real quick wake up call that there are good people everywhere and it isn’t too hard to find them.”

“There is some real kindness out there,” echoed Jason. The Kells are incredibly grateful for what the community has done to support Piper.

They even purchased thank you cards of their own for Piper to fill out and send back as they strongly believe in teaching their children how to show gratitude to others who show kindness and generosity. “We are so extremely grateful, we never expected it,” said Jason.