Lehigh Acres teen getting support from across the country

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Emilie Orta. Credit: WINK News.

A Southwest Florida teen’s wish for birthday cards is coming true in a big way. Even though she doesn’t know it yet.

Emilie Orta turns 17 on Sunday. Last month her mom came to WINK News asking viewers to make this year unforgettable for her and send cards to her. And birthday cards for Emilie have arrived from all over, including places far from Southwest Florida.

Octavia Frazier and Tammy Anderson, leaders at Hopebridge Autism Center in Savannah Georgia sent cards to Emilie. “Well, I was at home relaxing after work. And I saw a post that Hopebridge made about Emilie’s story. And I just read through the posts and it made me very emotional.”

As did Ellen Williams, “I live in North Dakota, Mandana, which is across the river from the state capital of Bismarck.”

Seeing Emilie’s story about losing everything when her house flooded earlier this year and needing some extra love for her 17th birthday stuck a chord among people across the country.

Emilie’s mom, Shaylin Orta. said, “it’s really hard for her to make friends, so when she sees cards coming in the mail for her, I think to her it’s like I’m loved. Somebody cares about me; this is for me and to her, that’s her friends.”

For Lisa Meegan of San Diego, the story hit close to home. “I have an autistic son and he’s 22. So, I understand the mom’s position very well. I felt a lot of sympathy for her having her daughter be so upset over her room being flooded and I thought wow if my son was in that spot, he would be pretty upset too.” Meegan also sent Emilie a card.

WINK News received hundreds of cards for Emilie, showing that people from all over the country want to wish her a happy birthday. Showing just how many friends she really has.

“I knew she was a 17-year-old and she needed some help, or you know, some uplifting,” said Williams from North Dakota.

Meegan said, “we’re all in this world to make a difference one way or another and I hope I can make one little difference for that young woman.”

WINK News will be hand-delivering the cards to Emilie on Thursday afternoon, and from the looks of it, she’s going to be opening cards every day until her 18th birthday.

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