Culture

Boy Deprived of Birthday Party Amid Coronavirus Gets Heartwarming Response

Twitter screenshot.

Coronavirus lockdowns have halted many aspects of everyday life, leading to millions unemployed, children kept at home, and virtual services for Passover and Easter. Children who look forward to their birthdays all year are suddenly prevented from having their friends over for a birthday party.

Twelve-year-old Brandon Smith is one of the many who had to forego a birthday party this year. But thanks to his enterprising father, hundreds of people around the world have sent him well-wishes. This delighted the boy because he loves geography — and he plotted every warmhearted message on his very own map of the world.

“This is my son, Brandon. 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,” Jody Smith, NFL correspondent for the sports news website Fantasy Pros, tweeted on Saturday.

The tweet went viral, and “Happy Birthday Brandon” started trending on Twitter.

“Happy Birthday Brandon. Wishing you a great birthday.. I live 45 minutes from New Orleans. BayoU Country !!” football analyst Michael Detillier tweeted.

BBC News’s Jackie Leonard wished him a Happy birthday from London.

“Happy Birthday from Tampa, Brandon!” tweeted Jason Licht, general manager of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Birthday wishes came from Ireland.

“Happy Birthday Brandon I’m from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Have fun young man,” Raed Tantawi tweeted.

The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman wished him a “Happy birthday” from Brooklyn, N.Y.

Smith shared a picture of the map, showing well-wishes from India, Australia, South America, China, Japan, and more.

Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.