Carmyn Kivel and her new friend, Wes, the mail carrier. Photo by Brian Rozman
Carmyn Kivel and her new friend, Wes, the mail carrier.

Hundreds of cards from around the world made Christmas worthwhile for Camryn Kivel, who is living with cognitive impairment, albinism, and the isolation of 2020.

EAST CHINA, Mich.—“Camryn went from saying she was emotionally tired and wanted to skip Christmas this year, to being giddy and excited when the mail carrier would arrive,” Steven Kivel, Camryn’s father, wrote on the Christmas Cards for Camryn Facebook page. “Thank you all.”

Since the Facebook page began, cards have been flooding Camryn Kivel’s home and bringing the whole community some much-needed holiday cheer. With the Christmas holiday now passed, the Kivel family has begun tallying the total cards that they received and planning how to continue the tradition next year. 

Thanks to the generosity and support of people all over the country, Camryn received as of the day after Christmas exactly 1,200 cards, with more still coming. Each one of those cards brought a smile to her face and helped to make a difficult Christmas a little less gloomy.

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It’s true, before the excitement of the Christmas cards, Camryn was content to skip the holiday all together. As her 21st birthday is nearing on December 30, Camryn had a similar thought. If she couldn’t spend the time with her friends, she did not want to celebrate at all.

Camryn’s new community heard news of this, and they have already begun sending her birthday cards to help her celebrate. This support is so welcomed, but the Kivels are already thinking ahead to next year. 

It was shared in the Facebook group that Camryn and her family are interested in choosing another lonely child next year and directing the massive outpouring of support to them. Though, in the meantime, Camryn doesn’t mind getting more mail.

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In a time where so many feel alone, this Christmas card project has given Camryn and members of the Facebook page something to look forward to. It has provided a place to share stories, inspiration quotes, and spread kindness in the darkest times. Regardless of what the future holds, the impact of this mission is sure to be long-lasting on Camryn and everyone involved. 

If you wish to send Camryn a card, her address is 196 Elmwood East China, MI 48054. 

To join the community and see where the Facebook page heads next year, find Christmas Cards for Camryn on Facebook. 

Editor’s note: Camryn Kivel is the sister of ‘Gander reporter Katelyn Kivel. Katelyn was not involved in the production of this piece.