Like any mother, Latrice Jones, from Canyon County, California, wanted to give her son a great birthday—but it didn’t seem like it was going to happen this year.
For her son Gregory’s fifth birthday, Jones planned a day at Mountasia Family Fun Center. In addition to her family members, she invited a few kids Gregory’s age—her son didn’t have many friends, but she was determined to give him a birthday party like anyone else.
“He’s on the autism spectrum, so sometimes it’s hard for him to interact with other kids,” Jones explained to KTLA.
Jones said her son didn’t care who came, as long as somebody did. But everyone replied saying they would not be attending.
She was heartbroken that Gregory would have no friends at his birthday party, and it was difficult to break the news to him. Frustrated, she vented her feelings in a Facebook group for local mothers.
“Do you know how hard it was for me to tell him yesterday that no one he invited is coming?” she wrote. “I just hope that he has as much fun as possible today, and just remembers how much fun he had and not that no one showed up.”
She was just sharing her heartbreak—she never expected anything to come of the post.
But later that morning, she suddenly discovered she had received a ton of responses. The post had been shared across different Facebook groups.
Jones was blown away as she read the strangers’ messages.
“I posted it, and this morning I just got a flood of messages of people wanting to come and bring him presents,” Jones told The Signal.
The strangers all agreed to come to Gregory’s party and bring their friends. When the Jones family went to Mountasia, dozens of strangers from the community also showed up to wish him a happy birthday.
Jones was amazed by the sudden show of support.
“I was not expecting any of this,” Jones told The Signal. “I’ve never met any of these people before.”
But one stranger really went above and beyond. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Joane Warren was a new mother who felt plenty of sympathy for Jones’s situation, and she decided to get the whole force involved.
“I was like, ‘We can help him out,” Warren told KTLA.
“He seems like a really, really cool kid. So, I just wanted him to have a very happy birthday.”
Officers from the local sheriff’s and fire departments agreed to show up in their vehicles—and surprised Gregory with his favorite part of the whole day.
They saluted him with sirens and played “Happy Birthday To You.”
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had a great time and shared photos on their Facebook page, along with their well-wishes.
“We are so glad we got to celebrate with the big birthday boy, his family, new friends and an amazing community that always comes together to help,” their post read. “Happy Birthday Gregory!!”
While Gregory isn’t much of a talker, everyone could tell by his reaction that he was thrilled. He told KTLA that he felt “happy.”
His mother had more to say—and knew how special all this support from the community really was.
“It’s definitely a memory that we’re going to have for the rest of our lives.”
Imagine no one showing up for your birthday party.For a 5-year-old boy with autism, that nightmare was almost a reality – until the community stepped in.Read more here: https://signalscv.com/2017/11/strangers-throw-improptu-birthday-party-autistic-boy/
Posted by Austin Dave on Wednesday, November 22, 2017