Ashlee Buratti from St. Cloud, Florida, threw a birthday party for her son, Glenn, who has mild autism and epilepsy. They invited all 16 kids from his class, but none of them came.
“From the minute he woke up that day he wanted to know how many minutes until his friends came,” Buratti, 25, said. When he learned that no one showed up, the little boy was devastated.
Seeing her son trying to hold back his tears, Buratti posted an emotional message on her local community’s Facebook page.
“I know this might be something silly to rant about, but my heart is breaking for my son. We invited his whole class (16 kids) over for his 6th birthday party today. Not one kid came,” she posted.
Shortly after posting her “rant”, half a dozen people started asking if they could bring their kids over. A total of 15 people showed up. And they brought presents!
It turns out that the Osceola County Sheriff’s Department also read Buretti’s post. So naturally, they sent one of their vehicles to join in the celebration: a HELICOPTER.
For twenty minutes it flew over their house, swooping low enough so the pilot could wave at Glenn and to make sure everyone knew they were there for him.
Coming home from school a few days later, Glenn was initially scared by what was parked in front of their lawn — several police cars, fire trucks, a SWAT van, and a canine unit.
But the backup was actually sent by the Sheriff’s Department, for an extension of Glenn’s party. Once he realized they were there for him, he was ecstatic.
The officers gave Glenn an extra-special personal tour of all the squad vehicles.
… and showered him with more gifts!
“And to think, all this happened because nobody showed up to his birthday,” Buratti wrote online, “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Glenn’s father quipped, “I’m sure the neighbors were peeking out of their windows or taking cover.”
The key takeaway from this story? One person’s small act of kindness can make a world of difference to someone else. What the St. Cloud community did for this little boy is something that we should all take inspiration from.