Thousands more cards have arrived at the Exmouth home of autistic teenager Ollie Jones this weekend in time for his birthday after an amazing response to his mum’s Facebook plea for help.
Ollie, who enjoys opening cards, had made two for himself as he thought they would be the only ones he would get.
But his mum Karen, 49, was determined to try and make his day special, so posted on a local community page asking for people to send cards.
Then the Express & Echo heard about the plea and published a story. Cards started pouring in after the appeal was shared around the world.
On his birthday on Saturday, another 32 crates of cards and presents arrived, adding to the estimated 10,000 already delivered from around the world.
Karen said: “No promises all cards will be open today… may take a while.”
And she asked people to remember that there were many children with Ollie’s condition.
They started to arrive in their box-loads on Thursday morning with hundreds more at the local post office waiting to be delivered.
An Xbox has also been delivered to Ollie all the way from Saudi Arabia.
The family have also been offered a weekend away.
In addition, the phone at the family’s home is ringing constantly with other goodwill messages.
The family have also put a sign on their door after receiving so many callers.
Karen, a full-time single mum and voluntary support worker for parents with autism, said: “My son made two birthday cards.
“He has no friends because of his autism and when I saw he had made the cards it pulled my heart strings.
“I thought maybe we could just try to get him a few extra cards this year.
“So, I put a little post on Facebook asking people to send him birthday cards and now I’m having messages from all over the world.”
Karen said that the birthday messages had given a big boost to her son, who also enjoys opening envelopes.
She added: “I’m also having messages from people who are saying ‘my son has autism too’.
“We are a small family – it’s just us two and the dog.
“Ollie has no friends to the extent where he turned up yesterday morning and showed me he had made some birthday cards for himself.”
On the first day around 50 cards had arrived for Ollie – but Karen has no idea what they will end up with.
Her Facebook post has now been shared more than 10,000 times with people across the globe pledging to send a card.
Ollie had said: “No one gives me birthday cards, just me.”
Karen added: “It just brought tears to my eyes, I thought ‘oh my god’, it was a lump in the throat moment.
“All I can say is thank you, the kindness, love and goodwill of everyone has been phenomenal.”
“He loves to walk his dog Poppy, he loves his X Box and loves music and arts and crafts.”