'Famous' Ollie sent 10,000 cards as appeal goes viral
PUBLISHED: 12:30 01 September 2016
When Karen Jones appealed to Facebook asking for birthday cards for her autistic son Ollie, she could never have predicted what would happen next.
Karen Jones, aged 49, of Rosebery Road, Exmouth, asked the public on Facebook to send a card to Ollie after she noticed her son, aged 15, who has no friends, made birthday cards for himself.
From the appeal Ollie has received more than 10,000 cards and his story has grabbed the attention of people across the globe.
The birthday boy has enjoyed all the attention. He said: “I’m famous.”
Karen feared her son would not receive any cards but has been blown away by the response.
She said: “It’s the amazing people of Exmouth sharing my post that have created this phenomenon.
“I wish I could thank everyone in person. I hoped for 20 cards and we have opened and counted over 10,000 with plenty more to do.”
Ollie spent his birthday opening cards before visiting family friends.
Karen said she was grateful for the cards Ollie received. She admitted she would never have started the appeal had she realised the attention it would provoke.
She said: “I would never have done it had I known.
“I felt guilty when so many cards started to arrive and then the gifts. I am just average, living in a two-up two-down terraced house. Things like this don’t happen to people like us, or so I thought.”
Karen, who runs an autism support group called Auchid, said she was pleased the profile of the condition that has been raised by her appeal.
She said: “What I am so happy about is the messages of support from the ‘autistic’ community.
“There are many ‘Ollie’s’ out there that are desperate for acceptance. Our story has appeared on the news all over including Australia, Spain, Norway, USA, Brazil and Germany.”