A 6-year-old Florida boy with autism got a major birthday surprise after no one showed up to his party, according to a report.
Glenn Buratti had invited all 16 of his classmates from elementary school to attend the birthday bash. But when the big day arrived, he was devastated that not one person came, the boy’s mother told CNN affiliate WKMG.
The upset boy wouldn’t even smile for the rest of his special day, Ashlee Buratti said.
“To see the look on his face killed me inside,” Buratti told the Orlando-area television station.
With nowhere else to turn, Buratti vented her frustrations on Facebook, writing in a post that the incident had left her heartbroken.
“He keeps asking ‘when will my friends get here?’ Poor kid. I feel so bad for him,” she wrote.
Buratti’s post resonated on social media, and pretty soon after, she was inundated with messages from total strangers wanting to help the family.
A short time later, parents and their children began showing up to the St. Cloud-area home with birthday gifts for her child, the station reported.
But it wasn’t just strangers who responded to her Facebook writings. The mother’s social media post also captured the attention of the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, which sent a sheriff’s helicopter for a special flyover in the boy’s honor, according to WKMG.
Glenn smiled the entire time and waved up at the helicopter, Buratti said.
“It was amazing,” she added.
The following week, the county continued the birthday celebration, sending police cars and fire trucks to visit him. Law enforcement and emergency personnel also pooled their money to buy him gifts.
Buratti was overwhelmed by the support of the community.
“The amazingness of everybody coming together for someone that they didn’t even know,” she told the TV station. “A kid that didn’t have anybody come to his birthday party. It warmed my heart.”
As for the original invited guests, Buratti said she still hadn’t heard from any of the parents as to why their kids didn’t attend.
But, she added, she was more concerned about how to top this year’s birthday festivities for Glenn next year.
CNN contributed to this story.