Charlie Manning, 6, with some of the hundreds of cards she received in Kamloops, B.C. from birthday well-wishers from across the globe. (MICHAEL POTESTIO/KTW)

Charlie Manning, 6, with some of the hundreds of cards she received in Kamloops, B.C. from birthday well-wishers from across the globe. (MICHAEL POTESTIO/KTW)

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

–– Kamloops This Week

On the lawn of a Westmount home during a sunny Thursday morning sat six-year-old Charlie Manning, waiting patiently next to a table covered in parcels and birthday cards.

One might have thought there were dozens of people waiting to jump out and surprise Charlie, judging from the large number of presents and cards, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Charlie celebrated her sixth birthday at home with grandparents, Ray and Tammy Manning, who are raising her.

Since pre-school, the Westmount elementary student has had a birthday bash on the last days of school in June with her friends, but the pandemic cancelled that this year. Her June party in Kamloops is usually followed by a trip to Idaho in July to visit her aunt Becky and cousins, who reciprocate the visit for Charlie’s birthday in August.

But that, too was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Thanks to the kindness of strangers, however, Charlie was able to have a unique celebration at a time when it looked like she may not be able to have one at all.

Her aunt reached out to some Facebook groups that have people send cards to children and asked people to simply wish her niece a happy birthday.

The response was immense.

Before the Mannings knew it, an avalanche of cards and parcels began arriving at their doorstep from people around the world who had never met Charlie.

In total, 173 cards and about 15 packages were delivered from places like Arizona, Australia, Belgium, Calgary, Comox, California, New York, Mississauga, Ireland and England.

One woman from Montreal even reached out to Sweet Spot Cupcakes in Kamloops and ordered a dozen of the treats to be delivered on Charlie’s birthday — Aug. 13.

Sweet Spot Cupcakes owner Paige Knapp dropped off the treats on Thursday morning, along with a present from her and the staff. She is also making a birthday cake this weekend for the soon-to-be first grader.

Knapp said when she realized what was being done for Charlie, she wanted to contribute.

“I’m glad I was able to make her day a little bit brighter,” Knapp said.

An excited Charlie was quick to bite into one of her dozen cupcakes and she made short work of her gifts — a pile of postage, toys and trinkets littered the grass around her in about an hour.

Confetti-laden cards and anything with unicorns or from Disney’s Frozen brought an elated gasp from the six-year-old.

“I wanted this for days,” she said of one gift.

“Oh, my gosh, look at this,” she said of another.

“I think that’s for you,” she told grandfather Ray.

Charlie Manning, 6, and grandpa Ray dig into some Sweet Spot Cupcakes, delivered to their Kamloops, B.C., home on Charlie’s birthday — Aug. 13. They were ordered by a woman in Montreal who answered a social media request from Charlie’s aunt for people to help her niece celebrate her COVID-restricted birthday. (Michael Potestio/KTW)

Charlie Manning, 6, and grandpa Ray dig into some Sweet Spot Cupcakes, delivered to their Kamloops, B.C., home on Charlie’s birthday — Aug. 13. They were ordered by a woman in Montreal who answered a social media request from Charlie’s aunt for people to help her niece celebrate her COVID-restricted birthday. (Michael Potestio/KTW)

Ray said it was difficult to explain to his granddaughter why she couldn’t have a party this year and was concerned it would be a sad occasion trying to navigate a birthday amidst COVID-19.

But, he said, the generous outpouring of gifts has had Charlie “bouncing off the walls” and it’s been a humbling experience for himself.

“These people don’t know us from a hole in the ground, but it really gives you a sense that in times like this, there’s still good people out there,” he said. “People do care. I mean, here’s a little girl that is being raised by her grandparents, so we don’t have kids her age in our circle of friends, and they’re making sure she has a birthday she’ll always remember.”

Charlie’s grandmother, Tammy, said she gets teary-eyed thinking of how a random group of people and her daughter stepped up to give Charlie this celebration.

“She’s a very outgoing child, so it’s hard for her and it’s hard when you’re raised by older people,” Tammy said. “This will be a birthday she’ll never forget.”

Michael Potestio, Kamloops This Week

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Alberta premier Jason Kenney announced the province's reopening plan late last month and moved into Stage 1 of that plan Tuesday. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

(Advocate file photo)
Red Deer down to 102 active COVID-19 cases

Central zone has 332 cases with 26 in hospital and five in ICU

Storm clouds gathered in Mulhurst, Alta., just before noon June 15, 2021. Photo/ Dan Moster.
Areas of County of Wetaskiwin remain under severe thunderstorm watch

Environment Canada has issued a severe thunderstorm watch for areas of the County.

Maskwacis Pride crosswalk (Left to right): Montana First Nation Councillor Reggie Rabbit, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Louise Omeasoo, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Katherine Swampy, Samson Cree Nation Councillor Shannon Buffalo, Samson Cree Nation Chief Vern Saddleback.
Pride in Maskwacis

The 4th inaugural Maskwacis Pride crosswalk painting took place on Saturday June 12th, 2021

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer COVID cases continue to fall

114 cases in Red Deer, down one from Saturday

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A nurse prepares a shot of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Yukon Convention Centre in Whitehorse on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Thomas
Vancouver couple pleads guilty to breaking Yukon COVID rules, travelling for vaccine

Chief Judge Michael Cozens agreed with a joint sentencing submission,

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Ocean debris is shown on Long Beach in Tofino, B.C. on April, 18, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Shoreline cleanup finds COVID-related trash increased during height of the pandemic

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup reports litter from single-use food packaging nearly doubled

Doctor David Vallejo and his fiancee Doctor Mavelin Bonilla hold photos of themselves working, as they kiss at their home in Quito, Ecuador, Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Doctor Vallejo and Doctor Bonilla suspended their wedding in order to tend to COVID-19 patients and in the process Vallejo got sick himself with the disease, ending up in an ICU for several days. (AP Photo/Dolores Ochoa)
Love, sacrifice and surviving COVID-19: one couple’s story

COVID hits Ecuadorian doctors who delayed wedding to treat sick

Three calves were recently shot dead in Lacombe County near Mirror. (Photo from Facebook)
Calves shot and left for dead in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP investigating three shootings

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

Most Read