Tulsa Man Sends Birthday Cards To Children With Autism Around The World

Thursday, April 7th 2022, 10:30 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A Tulsa man is supporting kids with Autism by sending them birthday cards. April is "National Autism Awareness Month." One man is dedicated to autism awareness every month.

65-year-old Tony Tinervia founded the Autism Birthday Club of the World because he knows a thing or two about what it's like growing up with autism. When you walk into Tony Tinervia's home, you'll find boxes upon boxes of letters addressed to kids with autism.

"Our club, it celebrates autism every day," said Tony Tinervia, Autism Birthday Club. That's because he and his mom Evelyn run the Autism Birthday Club.

"I know how it is to grow up with Asperger's. I was undiagnosed most my life and I know how it is as a child. I didn't understand myself as a child," said Tony Tinervia. "It's hard," said Evelyn Tinervia, Tony's mom.

Tony founded the club in January 2018. "It's growing, fast," said Tony Tinervia.

His calendar is filled with birthdates. He celebrates more than 4,500 birthdays globally. "Malaysia, the Philippines, Germany, South Africa, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Hong Kong, but only one. We haven't reached China yet, but if we do China, they have very long addresses I hear," said Tony Tinervia.

To keep up, Tony's recruited a team of moms like Katy Stewart who help write letters and stuff the cards with goodies. "It absolutely comes from the heart. Every child is different, so in every card I write something different," said Katy Stewart, Mom.

Stewart's son Jace has autism and is nonverbal. "Autism is not a disability. It's a different ability," said Katy Stewart.

She said Jace needs smaller, more intimate birthday parties so getting the extra birthday card from the Autism Birthday Club means the world to them.

"When he gets that card, he is smiling ear to ear every time (gets emotional).... sorry, yeah, he smiles ear to ear. He's so excited, he anytime he sees that card he automatically knows it's for him," said Stewart.

That's what it's all about. "It is great. It feels good," said Evelyn Tinervia, Tony's Mom.

"What is my purpose in life? I guess I reached it, right here," said Tony Tinervia.