Project Zero helps 16-year-old enjoy first ever birthday party

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – While thousands of children wait to be adopted, Arkansas organization Project Zero works hard to make sure their time in foster care is full of hope.

A simple call for help led to a birthday party on Wednesday that one child will never forget.

What looks like your typical birthday lunch party isn’t typical at all for 16-year-old Dwynea, because it’s the first birthday party she’s ever had.

Dwynea has been in foster care for the last two years and when Christie Erwin of Project Zero heard that Dwynea’s never had a birthday party, she knew she had to do something.

“We want her to know how precious she is and that she’s not second best to anyone,” Erwin said.

The non-profit works to get every child in Arkansas adopted. They asked their followers for birthday cards for Dwynea.

The response was overwhelming, with words of encouragement coming in from all over the country.

“One woman said the world is cheering you on,” Erwin said. “You’ve got a future, you’re a gift.”

Just before lunch, cards had come in from every state but Delaware. However, just before the party, Erwin checked the mail one last time to find that a card from Delaware arrived just in time.

“And I mean, it was just like a God wink saying I got this, and I’ve got you and I’ve got her.”

Dwynea expressed that she she was shocked at the outpour didn’t expect the responses she received.

“I was shocked,” Dwynea said. “I wasn’t even expecting all of this…like, I really wasn’t expecting all of this.”

Dwynea admits without the kindness of strangers, her birthday would have been, in a word:

“Crappy,” Dwynea said. “Because I wouldn’t have nobody. Nobody would do anything for me, so it’d be crappy.”

But instead, love from all over the country came in with incredible power.

“In the quietness of her own heart and her own life, it’s gonna change her,” Erwin said.

To make what would have been an ordinary day…a very sweet sixteen.

Project Zero says they have another sweet sixteen party coming up for another child. If you’d like to help make it a special day, you can contact Project Zero by visintg their website at

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