The allegations horrified the nation. A little girl known in court documents as "L.P." was forced to live in a closet with little food, no light and no love, authorities said.
Donations have poured in to help L.P. celebrate her 11th birthday Wednesday. The Local Investment Commission established a benefit fund.
Nearly 300 cards, including birthday cards, have been sent for the girl.
"In many cases they are store-bought cards and in many cases people went out and hand crafted cards," said Brent Schondelmeyer, LINC's communications director.
Those personal notes assured the girl that she was loved and wished her well.
About $3,400 in donations have been received as well. Gifts including teddy bears, coloring books and dolls were to L.P. on Wednesday for her to open.
Donations still need to be sorted and counted. Items will continue to be given to L.P. after her birthday.
"In many cases, a community can't parent a child, but a community can care for a child," Schondelmeyer said.
The child's mother and boyfriend face charges.
In June, the girl was discovered locked in a closet in an apartment located on Highland Avenue near 13th Street. The girl was severely malnourished to the point where she was reportedly only a third of the weight of a normal girl her age.
Court documents said the closet's door was barricaded from the outside using a portable crib and a small rope, and wide shoelaces were bound around the doorknobs.
Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said the girl was not allowed to eat with the rest of her family, it was clear she was confined off-and-on in the small space for a prolonged period of time and the closet also doubled as her bathroom.
"So unimaginable, so horrific," Schondelmeyer said. "A child is something that should be loved, nurtured and grown and developed. A child is not something to be literally hidden, locked away."
He said society must pay attention "to people in our world, if we don't pay attention to people around us, literally and figuratively a child can get lost."
The neighborhood where L.P. lived is holding a birthday party for her. The girl won't attend. The ceremonial party will help raise donations for her and help residents as part of their own healing process.
The ceremonial party was 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday at T.B. Watkins Courtyard, 1318 Highland Ave., Kansas City, MO. Many turned out for it.
Monday, September 1 2014 12:01 AM EDT2014-09-01 04:01:32 GMT
The Mississippi Highway Patrol has issued an Amber Alert for 17-year-old Katelyn Beard. She was abducted Saturday morning from between 6:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m. from 4244 Lynda Street in Jackson. BeardMore >>
The Mississippi Highway Patrol has issued an Amber Alert for 17-year-old Katelyn Beard.More >>
Thursday, August 28 2014 9:33 AM EDT2014-08-28 13:33:06 GMT
SPARTANBURG COUNT, SC (WYFF) - Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office. DeputiesMore >>
Fifteen children living in a double-wide trailer were put into protective custody and seven adults were arrested, according to the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.More >>
Sunday, August 31 2014 6:15 PM EDT2014-08-31 22:15:09 GMT
Jackson police are looking for a shooting victim and suspect. Authorities say a white female possibly 19 or 20 years of age was shot at 4244 Lynda Street just before 7 a.m. Police say the woman was lastMore >>
Jackson police need your help to find a woman who has been shot and the man they believe is responsible. More >>
Tuesday, August 26 2014 9:27 AM EDT2014-08-26 13:27:00 GMT
A Jackson Prep football player hospitalized following Friday night's game has died. Walker Wilbanks was transported Friday to the hospital during the second half of the school's home football game againstMore >>
Pressler says Walker's death was an "unfortunate freak event" revolving around the balance of sodium and water in the body. He says it had no reflection of being over or underhydrated.
Sunday, August 31 2014 12:24 AM EDT2014-08-31 04:24:12 GMT
The number 65 was sprayed on the Copiah Academy Colonels field in honor of Jackson Prep Junior Walker Wilbanks. Also on the field was the number 44, a tribute to Colonels football player Adam Day who alsoMore >>
The number 65 was sprayed on the Copiah Academy Colonels field in honor of Jackson Prep Junior Walker Wilbanks. Also on the field was the number 44, a tribute to Colonels football player Adam Day who also passed this summer. More >>
Sunday, August 31 2014 3:28 PM EDT2014-08-31 19:28:29 GMT
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online.More >>
Disturbing pictures of an injured kindergartner from Pascagoula have made a mother's call for action go viral online. Friends and family of a Pascagoula kindergarten student have created a Facebook page and GoFundMe.com account claiming the girl was attacked on the playground this week by another student.More >>