An autistic teen received over 10,000 birthday cards from people all over the world after her cousin posted an online request.
The cousin, Rebecca Guildford from Oxford, posted a Facebook photo of her 18-year-old cousin, Hallee Sorenson from Maine, sitting in a bowling alley last year. It was supposed to be her birthday celebration but no one attended.
On June 8, Rebecca wrote on Facebook that Hallee had been so excited to celebrate her birthday last year with friends. Hallee wanted to go bowling and she sent invitations to her classmates and friends but as she waited anxiously at the bowling alley, nobody arrived.
"My cousin is a beautiful young woman who will always have the mind of a child...so as you can imagine, she was heartbroken and beyond sad. She was hurt," wrote Guildford.
Guildford wanted to make Hallee's 19th birthday this July "incredible" by flooding her mailbox with birthday greeting cards from "all over." She mentioned that Hallee loves getting mail. She asked people to send greeting cards for Hallee, indicating an address in Bangor, Maine.
In the Facebook post, Guildford wrote an update that some people asked about sending birthday gifts but politely declined and mentioned that a nice greeting card would be fine and that "gifts truly aren't necessary." She added that she and her family were truly appreciative of the gesture.
The internet did a good job. The Facebook post had been shared over 230,000 times and Hallee received over 10,000 birthday greeting cards.
She even got greeting cards from the Boston Red Sox baseball team, Washington Redskins football team, football quarterback John Elway and even from the state of Ohio. Apart from the greeting cards, she also received flowers, CDs from people around the world and even teddy bears.
An Afghanistan-deployed soldier also sent her a birthday greeting card, as well as the Massachusetts State Police and the Maine Police Department. A woman who works at the Kennedy Space Center sent Hallee a NASA Barbie.
There is even a dedicated Facebook page called Hallee's 19th Birthday launched by Hallee's mother, Allyson. Hallee's aunt Robyn, who manages the page, posts photos of the wonderful birthday greetings that the teenager continues to receive.
"Your continued cards, letters and posts are flooding in (I think the mail carriers are getting nervous!) and our gratitude is hard to put into words," wrote Robyn on Facebook, adding that they are reading every messages and posts.