When none of an autistic boy’s classmates showed up for his sixth birthday party, his community and local sheriff’s office rallied together to make it a birthday he’d never forget.
Ashlee Buratti, of St. Cloud, Florida, had invited her son Glenn’s class of 16 children to his birthday on February 8, and when no one showed up, he was devastated.
Though no one RSVP’d, Buratti and her husband John Buratti were ‘still holding on to the hope that some of them would show up’ to the party for her son, who has epilepsy and a mild form of autism.
‘From the minute he woke up that day he wanted to know how many minutes until his friends came,’ Buratti, 25, said, adding that his eyes filled with tears when he learned no one was coming.
Glenn Buratti, of St. Cloud, Florida, turned six on February 8, and though his mom Ashlee Buratti had invited all 16 of his classmates to a birthday party, not a single person showed up
After posting her frustration on Facebook, Buratti received messages of support from the community and people – including firemen and policemen – offered to stop by the family’s home to make it a birthday Glenn would never forget
Glenn, who loves public safety and law enforcement, was overjoyed with the party, and his mom said that though he is usually shy, he took to his new friends like he’d known them all his life
The mother-of-three posted on a locally run Facebook page with more than 10,000 members titled, Osceola Rants, Raves and Reviews List, to express her frustration, according to the Osceola News-Gazette.
‘I know this might be something silly to rant about, but my heart is breaking for my son. We invited his whole class (16 kids) over for his 6th birthday party today. Not one kid came,’ she posted.
And when other group members saw the post they sent Buratti messages asking if they could bring their own kids to Glenn’s party to celebrate.
The message even reached staff from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, who asked for the family’s address and said a helicopter would fly over their St. Cloud home.
The helicopter came to the house within an hour, and the pilot flew low enough that Glenn could see him waving.
Glenn, who loves public safety and law enforcement, was overjoyed with the party, and his mom said that though he is usually shy, he took to his new friends like he’d known them all his life.
‘In general, deputies have big hearts – they thought about their own kids and wanted to make this boy happy because it was such a sad situation,’ Buratti told Today.
In total, about 15 kids and 25 adults showed up to celebrate and eat cake, give gifts to Glenn and play in a bounce house.
The Osceola County Sheriff’s office flew a helicopter over Glenn’s house on the day of his party, and the pilot flew low enough to wave at the boy
Staff from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office returned to the house three days after Glenn’s party to give him with gifts and tours of vehicles
Glenn received a bicycle from one woman and toys of all sorts from strangers who came to celebrate his sixth birthday
Glenn, next to his dad, John Buratti, with his siblings and mom, Ashlee Buratti, on a trip to Disneyworld in 2014
The Buratti family, with Glenn in the center in front of Barney, on a trip to Disneyworld last year. His mother Ashlee Buratti said Glenn’s birthday was ‘just amazing’ and that everyone who came out was ‘so awesome’
One woman brought the birthday boy a bike, while others brought toys. Buratti said one man came to the party with a camera and took pictures he later gave to the family.
‘It was just amazing. The people who came out were so awesome,’ Buratti told the Osceola News-Gazette.
And Glenn’s birthday celebration didn’t end on Sunday – several crews from the Sheriff’s Office and Osceola County Fire Rescue stopped by the family’s home on Wednesday.
Though Buratti knew the crews were coming, she left it a surprise for her son to see as they were on their way home from school.
‘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,”‘ Buratti told CBS News.
They all wished him a happy birthday, gave him tours of their fire truck, squad cars, motorcycles and a SWAT vehicle and showered him with more gifts.
‘And to think, all this happened because nobody showed up to his birthday,’ Buratti wrote online. ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’