Glenn Buratti's birthday: Florida police and complete strangers intervene when no one turns up to boy with autism's sixth birthday party

'He kept asking 'when will my friends get here'?'

Adam Withnall
Sunday 22 February 2015 11:24
Glenn's mother posted images to Facebook showing the warm reaction her post received
Glenn's mother posted images to Facebook showing the warm reaction her post received

A Florida community has rallied round the family of a boy with autism after no one turned up to his sixth birthday party.

Glenn Buratti’s mother Ashlee expressed her anger and disappointment in a Facebook post in which she said that her “heart is breaking” for her son.

“We invited his whole class (16 kids) over for his 6th birthday party today,” she wrote. “Not one kid came. Poor kid. I feel so bad for him. He keeps asking 'when will my friends get here?'”

The post was spotted and shared by strangers, police and local TV stations in St Cloud, Osceola County, and soon a host of parents started turning up with their children and gifts for Glenn.

Officers from the Osceola County Sheriff's Office also came along with presents they had bought with their own money, according to WKMG Local 6 reports, and even organised a fly-by from a police helicopter.

“One of our friends put him up on their shoulders and Glenn was smiling the whole time and waved. It was amazing,” Ms Buratti told the local TV station.

Images posted to Facebook showed Glenn celebrating his birthday with the police and fire service

CBS News reported that on Wednesday, a few days after the party, the town’s fire brigade also dropped by to wish Glenn a happy birthday, bringing a fire truck and letting him have a ride.

Ms Buratti said she kept the visit a secret, telling the broadcaster: “We got to the stop sign by our house and Glenn was like: ‘The fire truck's at our house!’

“I said, ‘It’s okay, They're there to tell you happy birthday.’”

The proud mother said she was delighted by the reaction from her community – though still hasn’t heard anything from Glenn’s classmates or parents who received the initial invites.

“The amazingness of everybody coming together for somebody they didn't even know, a kid that didn't have anybody come to his birthday party, it warmed my heart,” she said.

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