Candy Butchers, 26, was left devastated after she organized a birthday party for her daughter but all her friends canceled on them.
The Melbournian’s daughter Rhianna, who was turning nine suffers from autism, and the 10 guests who had RSVP’d for the party did not show up. Then, something extraordinary happened.
Candy Butchers (left) from Melbourne, Australia and her daughter Rhianna (right)
Autism is a general term for a group of complex brain development disorders. It is most widely associated with social interaction difficulties, repetitive behavior and missing, or atypical verbal and nonverbal communication.
“Rhianna is autistic, she’s high functioning but she doesn’t get the social cues,” mother-of-two Candy told Daily Mail Australia. “She gets bullied a lot and didn’t have any friends to invite. I invited my friends and their children.”
Her little Rhianna is autistic but highly functioning
Everything was prepared by Candy and her husband, but on the morning of the big day, people started texting saying they could not make it.
“I invited 25 people,” the 26-year-old explained. “Of that 10 people said that they were going to come, but everyone canceled.
I went outside. I sat out there for a good hour or two bawling my eyes out,” she said. “I don’t know how to tell her nobody is coming. How do I explain to a nine-year-old with autism that nobody is coming to her birthday party? I felt so heartbroken. I felt like a failure as a mom.”
26-year-old Melbournean Chloe is part of a private Facebook group called ‘Midnight Mums’
Distraught, Chloe took to a private Facebook group she was a part of, Midnight Mums, to share what happened with her peers.
“It’s my beautiful little girl’s birthday party and no one is showing up,” she wrote.
While she and her husband were figuring out what to do, messages from all over the world started pouring in. It wasn’t long before there were more than 100 comments of people posing for pictures with their kids, holding signs wishing Rhianna a happy birthday.
Numerous people said they wished they lived closer in order to drop by, and have sent cards and presents instead.
Best wishes for 9-year-old Rhianna soon poured in from all around the world
But Melbourne moms did not lose any time, and soon Candy’s house was packed with at least 40 adults and children.
“People were bringing food and wine and cake and drink. Someone even brought a mini petting zoo. They brought her presents and cards and gave her money.”
Melbournians soon got in their cars with their children and made the way across town to Candy’s house
Candy, her husband and Rhianna were overwhelmed by people’s kindness and by the impromptu party. By Rhianna’s admission, it was by far the best birthday party she had ever had.
“People I’ve known for 20 years shunned my child and canceled, and people I’ve never met come out of the woodwork and helped,” Candy said.
“So many other mums who live near me messaged and said “let’s have coffee, let’s organize a playdate.”
When social media is often accused of alienating people, this emotional story goes to show that it is how technology is used is what defines its effects. It’s the hearts of the people behind it that matter.