Get all the latest news on coronavirus and more delivered daily to your inbox. Sign up here.
Although Becky Stewart was disappointed to have to cancel the “big party” planned for young daughter Maddie amid the COVID-19 outbreak, the thoughtful mom and husband Shawn called in some magical backups to make the day great.
The East Stroudsburg parents worked with Operation: Birthday Rescue, a new group that organizes cosplay actors from around the world to send personalized shoutouts for children’s birthdays during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I put in the request and we got a call a few hours later, it was fantastic,” Becky explained. “Maddie didn’t know anything about it, I just told her that I had a surprise and she came downstairs and saw Cinderella talking to her.”
Little Maddie was overjoyed to "meet" the glass slipper–wearing princess, otherwise known as actress Angela Ernst from Minnesota.
"I know today might be hard because you can’t see all your friends and family. But you know what? We’re sending you a very happy birthday wish with all the love in our hearts,” Cinderella told the birthday girl.
“Her whole face lit up, she went crazy, she grabbed the phone off me and started running around,” Becky said of her daughter’s ecstatic reaction. “She played the video about a million times. She’s still playing it now.”
Next up was a call from the feisty Moana, and Maddie was just as mesmerized, her mom said.
"She just squealed like crazy, she kept saying, ‘Mommy it’s Moana, mommy it’s Moana,’ she really got a kick out of that," Becky recalled.
In a larger sense, the grateful parent voiced her thanks for those going above and beyond to brighten up children's birthdays and milestones amid the darkness of the pandemic.
“This is such a difficult time for everyone, so it’s really phenomenal that Maddie and other kids still get to have something special happen on their birthdays. It definitely made my daughter’s day," Becky said.
Seeking inspiration for your own quarantine birthday celebrations? Check out these five sweet ways to make it special at home.