Traci Eubank was worried that no one would show up to her son's 10th birthday party, so she posted an open invite on Facebook. And what she received in return is what some have called the "Reddit Hug" — an outpouring of support from the online community that stretched around the world.
Traci's son Camden has apraxia, a speech delay that hinders him from forming the right words at the right times — especially in social situations. As you can imagine, this makes it hard for him to make friends. So when Camden started talking about having a water balloon party to celebrate his 10th birthday, Traci was not sure who would show up. Not wanting to let her son down, she posted an open invitation on Facebook. On the invitation, Traci explained their situation:
"I know all kids should learn disappointment in life- but sometimes other kids are so cruel. Camden is turning 10 on July 6th and wants to have an ultimate water balloon fight party with 2,000 balloons and lots of kids. The only problem is Camden has Apraxia of speech and because of the issues with articulation and some impulsiveness he has a really hard time making friends."
Traci proceeded to invite anyone who was interested to come to the "Ultimate Water Balloon Fight" at a park near their home in Troutville, Virginia, to celebrate Camden's birthday.
Within days, the Facebook invite was posted to Reddit and his story absolutely exploded. The Eubanks knew something was up when they started receiving dozens of packages on their doorstep each day. All of them were birthday presents addressed to Camden — some from as far away as Australia and China.
By the time Camden's birthday party had rolled around he had received hundreds of birthday presents from around the world. And the fun did not stop there. Three hundred people came to celebrate Camden's birthday, bearing water balloons, presents and lots and lots of cake.
The local fire department stopped by to spray hoses on the partygoers. Someone gave Camden tickets to see Blake Shelton in concert. Virginia Senator Mark Warner sent Camden a video message, and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine sent a handwritten note. One Reddit user contacted the Eubanks to let them know that he was setting up a college fund for their son.
In the end, Camden Eubank had a 10th birthday party that he will never forget.
"He is happy, the happiest I've seen him in a long time because he has people to play with," Camden's mom Traci Eubank said.
The Internet. FTW.
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