Strangers Send Autistic Man Thousands Of Cards And Gifts For His 21st

An autistic man got the surprise of his life on his 21st birthday when he received more than 10,000 gifts and cards from well-wishers all around the world.

Credit: Manchester Evening News

James Weir's condition makes it difficult for him to socialise and make friends, so last month, his older sister, Lucy, 23, put out a heartfelt plea on Facebook, asking for people to send her bro a card to help make his big day special.

However, no one was expecting the response to be as big as it was.

An estimated 10,000 cards and 200 presents found their way to James for his 21st. There were so many presents that it took his mum, April, around six hours to sort through and organise them.

James, who has always dreamed about 'going viral', was made even happier when his family told him about how far his story had spread.

Lucy told The Sun: "He's always wanted to go viral which is quite ironic because he's so shy at times, like he won't want to introduce himself to strangers if he's never met someone before.

"He was so overwhelmed but I can tell he's so happy.

Credit: Manchester Evening News

"I don't think he can take it in - I'm still struggling to take it in, it feels like a dream."

In her initial post on the social media site, Lucy wrote: "This is James. My not-so-baby brother and he is turning 21 on the 30th November.

"James has Autism and this makes it difficult for him to make friends and socialise. He gets anxious in social situations and finds it hard to communicate effectively with others. Sadly, James has no friends and it breaks our hearts.

"So, I have come up with an idea/surprise for his birthday. I wondered if you kind folk out there will share this post and send James a birthday message or card. Even if he only got a few I know he'd be over the moon!"

She then shared the family address, in the hope that her little brother might receive a few cards.

Lucy signed off by saying: "I want to make his milestone birthday extra special and put a big smile on that handsome face. Thank you everybody."

However, the response to her post was bigger than she could have ever imagined, and in less than 24 hours, she had received around 3,000 messages.

"He's always wanted to be famous and always asked how could he do it," said Lucy.

"Could he do it on YouTube, and we'd say 'you can't just go famous' but he has, just from one Facebook post.

"He's my little brother and I'm so protective of him and it just means the world that he's so happy and that he's going to have the best 21st birthday we could have wished for."

Featured Image Credit: Manchester Evening News

Jess Hardiman

Jess Hardiman is a journalist who graduated from Manchester University with a BA in Film Studies, English Language and Literature, and has previously worked for Time Out and The Skinny among others.

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