In light of a nationwide lockdown, a Texas father decided to get creative to celebrate his 12-year-old son’s birthday.
On April 11, Jody Smith, a sports writer from League City, took to Twitter to share a request on behalf of his son Brandon.
“This is my son, Brandon,” Smith tweeted, along with posting a photo of the child. “Today is his 12th Birthday. I can’t give him the party he deserves but Brandon loves geography. He would love it if you would RT or reply where you are so he can mark it on his map.”
Smith’s tweet almost immediately went viral, receiving over 128,000 likes and more than 100,000 comments (including responses from some notable celebrities).
“Greetings from Malibu, California, USA,” “Star Wars” actor Mark Hamill tweeted.
“Ok im in Bethesda, Maryland but Im from Mieres, Asturias in the north of Spain … happy birthday!” celebrity chef José Andrés posted.
“From one Brandon to another, happy birthday,” San Francisco Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford tweeted.
Alastair Bruce, the governor of Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, even invited Smith’s family to come visit his attraction.
“Brandon, I’m the Governor of @EdinburghCastle, which is an ancient fortress at the heart of Scotland’s great capital city,” he tweeted. “One day, when #Covid_19 is over, bring your family and travel back in time.”
In an interview with Good Morning America (GMA), Smith said he wanted to come up with a unique way to celebrate with Brandon before his son reached his teenage years.
“I had to think of something we could do,” Smith said. “It’s his last birthday before he’s a teenager. Knowing his interest in maps, I figure reach out on Twitter. Thought we’d get 50 to 100 replies. Obviously it blew up more than that.”
Brandon has since received responses from users who live as far as India and New Zealand.
“He says it’s all very exciting,” Smith told GMA. “People taking time to send pictures and videos has been really nice.”
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