Heartbroken girl spends 18th birthday alone – the internet had an amazing response
A heartbroken teenager who celebrated her 18th birthday alone is smiling again after thousands of kind-hearted strangers responded to a Facebook appeal.
Hallee Sorenson invited classmates to her party last year but was left “heartbroken, beyond sad and hurt” when nobody turned up.
Her cousin made it her mission to give Hallee a birthday to remember this year and asked people from around the world to send birthday messages to her home in Maine.
There was an amazing response from kind-hearted internet users who sent more than 10,000 cards, notes and gifts.
She received messages from countries including Indonesia, Germany and Japan, with her cousin, Rebecca Lyn, thanking those who have answered her appeal.
Hallee’s aunt, Robyn, wrote in a message: “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.
“Please know that we are reading everything and will respond as we can; meanwhile, remember that this is all reaffirming that most people are kind and loving and that we all have the capacity for caring about others, even if they're many miles away. We're all extended family!”
She added: “Your outpouring of love and kindness for Hallee over the last 48 hours or so has been overwhelming, and on behalf of the family I'd like to thank you most sincerely from the bottom of our hearts.
“We want you to know we're reading every one of your messages and posts, and appreciate them more than we can say. So many of you are sharing your own stories, and it's both affecting and a privilege to read them.
“Mail is already pouring in from everywhere-Hallee has been so delighted. Please know how very much this has already meant to her, but just cards are fine, or messages here. No gifts are necessary!”
Her cousin had initially shred a photo of her celebrating alone with the message: “Hallee is funny, sweet, caring, smart, an athlete, a jigsaw puzzle champion, a wonderful student, and a best friend to all.
“She is an amazing person-a person I am proud to be related to. She is also a person who just happens to have Autism.
“She has never let that small detail define who she is as a person-which is why I refuse to use it as something to describe her.”