The mother of a young Michigan boy who told her he had no friends to invite to his 11th birthday party created a Facebook page so family friends could wish him happy birthday. As of Wednesday, the page had more than 1 million "likes."
Kalamazoo mother-of-two Jennifer mentioned her son Colin's 11th birthday to him and was heartbroken when he told her he didn't want to have a party because he had no friends to invite. Jennifer wanted to show Colin that there were many people who cared for him on his birthday, so she created a Facebook page a little over a week ago, with the intention of showing it to Colin on his birthday, March 9.
She hoped, she said, to get about 50 responses from friends and family, but what she got was an outpouring of love and support for her son from around the world.
Colin was diagnosed with sensory processing disorders last year, reports Wood TV, which are similar to autism and Asbergers syndrome. He finds it difficult to socialize and tends to act out in certain situations.
"Things like lights and sound and changes will cause him to melt down," Jennifer said. "When you put a bunch of 10 year olds and one who acts like that, and they are all going, 'What's wrong with that kid?' You know, it's hard."
Jennifer wrote on the Happy Birthday Colin page that other children at school don't like him and that he eats his lunch every day alone in the office.
She wanted to throw him a birthday party but Colin didn't seem keen.
"We were talking about his birthday coming up and I had mentioned it a few times and he said he didn't want a party. And I said, 'Why don't you want a party?'" Jennifer said. "'Mom, who am I going to invite? I don't have any friends,'" Colin responded.
Jennifer decided to show Colin he did have friends - but even she didn't realize quite how many.
"I thought, if I could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, that would be better than any birthday party," Jennifer wrote on Facebook.
Colin, a fifth-grader who is obsessed with Dr Who, aspires to be a comedian, loves his Nintendo DS and is very close to his little sister Ella, has no idea about the page's existence.
Jennifer is planning to keep the secret for almost another month until Colin's birthday and will record his reaction to post on the Facebook page.
"What do you think Colin's going to do when he sees it?" Jennifer asked her daughter Ella in a video the two posted on Facebook. "Ummmm," says Ella. "Scream his pants off?"
In addition to the Facebook page, Jennifer has also added a postal address where well-wishers can send Colin a birthday card, after requests from Facebook commentators. People from as far away as Scotland, Australia and Switzerland have written to wish Colin a happy birthday, and to share their own school stories with him.