No one RSVP'd for Ontario teen Odin Camus' birthday party. The 13-year-old with Asperger syndrome has had a tough time fitting in and making friends, his mom told the Toronto Star. But one Facebook post in a group of moms from Peterborough, Ontario, changed everything.
This past Friday, hundreds of people showed up to Lakeview Bowl in Peterborough for Odin's birthday. But the effect went far beyond physical presence: Starting that morning and throughout the day, love poured in from around the world. Thousands of social media users took the opportunity to share their affection and good wishes for the birthday boy, giving him what he called the best birthday ever.
The response was overwhelming, with tens of thousands of tweets sent to wish Odin a happy birthday, and 4,000 text messages sent to the teen's cell phone, according to CBC News and CTV News. The tweets and texts came from around the world — according to Odin himself, the calls originated from as far away as Japan.
Odin's mom, Melissa Camus, sent out the Facebook post and that set off a wonderful chain reaction of love. She did it because she knew her son was bullied at school and had a hard time making friends, but wanted him to have something special to commemorate becoming a teenager.
As Odin put it at the party, "Now the bullies will have a second glance at me."
It's a powerful outpouring of emotion for one boy, and yet another reminder of how beautifully social media can be used to improve the lives of others. With so much negativity in certain corners of Twitter, to see it being used as a force of such good — all because of a mother's Facebook post — is heartwarming and overwhelming.
Happy birthday, Odin.