Mom's Facebook Campaign for Lonely Son Nets Boy a Million New Friends

02/13/2014 at 10:20 AM EST

Mom Sets up Secret Birthday Facebook Page for Son with Asperger's
Courtesy Coliniseleven
Grade school can be a lonely place. Just ask 10-year-old Colin.

According to his mother, Jennifer, Colin has a sensory processing disorder similar to Asperger's syndrome and "eats lunch in the office every day because no one will let him sit with them." When it came time for his mom to plan his 11th birthday party, Colin told her not to bother; he had no one to invite.

Mom's Facebook Campaign for Lonely Son Nets Boy a Million New Friends|, Real People Stories

The Facebook page "Happy Birthday Colin"

Courtesy Coliniseleven

For Jennifer, this wouldn't do. To give Colin a surprise on his special day, she set up a secret Facebook page encouraging strangers to send him birthday messages. The plan worked, better than she expected: Since its inception on Feb. 2, the page "Happy Birthday Colin" has over a million likes.

Fans of the page chimed in from all over the world, sharing positive messages for the little boy they'd never met. Even the Harlem Globetrotters got involved, offering to throw Colin a belated birthday party when they stopped by the area in April.

Mom's Facebook Campaign for Lonely Son Nets Boy a Million New Friends|, Real People Stories

Colin's mom Jennifer and the birthday cards he has received

Courtesy Coliniseleven

Still, Jennifer says, there's a downside to all the media attention the page has garnered: The surprise has almost been ruined for Colin.

"Several kids at school told him they saw him on the news, and he overheard a teacher saying to another teacher that she saw him on Facebook," Jennifer wrote on the page Monday. "Colin's dad and I were able to explain it away, but please be careful if you know him in real life."

Colin's birthday is March 9. If you want to send him a note, his mother has set up a secret mailing address:

P.O. Box 756
Richland, MI 49083-0756

You have under a month to get your cards in!

Follow PEOPLE on Facebook!

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners

Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters