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People Are So Emotional Over This Mom Who Buys A Birthday Cake Every Year For A Child She Doesn't Know In Her Daughter's Memory

"Each year I do this random act of kindness because I am unable to buy my daughter a cake of her own."

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Ashley Santi is from Scottsdale, Arizona. She told BuzzFeed News that every year she buys a cake for a child she doesn't know on what would be her daughter's birthday — Dec. 27.

Ashley Santi

Her daughter, McKenna Jodell, died at 9 months old because of a tragic accident. A TV fell on her, and she suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Each year Santi goes to a local cake shop and pays for a stranger's cake before they have picked it up. She said shopkeepers are sometimes confused by her desire to purchase a stranger's cake.

"They get very confused when I go and do this, the bakeries," she said with a laugh.

She leaves a note for the cake's recipients to explain herself.

"They would wonder why someone would want to do this," she said.

"We were absolutely floored," Jauregui said of his family's reaction when they read the letter from Santi gifting them the cake.

Kyle Jauregui

"In honor of my daughter's 10th birthday I have chosen your birthday cake to pay for," her letter read. "Each year I do this random act of kindness because I am unable to buy my daughter a cake of her own."


Santi's touching and heartwrenching tradition began because of the MISS Foundation. She said the organization helped her to "work through [her] grief and be able to carry it differently." After joining the foundation, she began to perform random acts of kindness.

"Kindness Project cards have been used around the world to perform random acts of kindness in memory of a child, parent, friend, or spouse who died before their time," the MISS Foundation website reads.

@rsilver710 / Via Twitter: @rsilver710

The founder of the MISS Foundation, Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, told BuzzFeed News that the project "is a way to bring the love of our precious children into the world."

"It doesn’t take away the grief. Rather, it brings us closer to our precious ones and extends compassion into the world as a way to honor that love," Cacciatore said.

"It did make it kind of a little bit extra special just to be appreciative of my younger sister and to really be thankful for what I have," Jauregui said of the birthday cake surprise. "She felt really loved and really blessed."

Jauregui tweeted about the cake and the post went massively viral. "My motivation was just the fact that my family was so appreciative," Jauregui said of why he decided to tweet about the cake. "We wanted to contact the mother and just thank her and hug her." Santi said a family friend of Jauregui's put her in touch with him.

They spoke over the phone on Sunday night. "I told them I'd love to meet them," Santi said. Jauregui said he and his family also hope to meet her soon.

Remy Smidt is a reporter with BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Remy Smidt at

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