With Manuel Parisseaux's 30th birthday coming up, his mother sent out a quick note on Facebook requesting a few cards for her son, who has Down syndrome. The results were stunning: Dozens of cards started arriving at the family's home in Calais, France. Then the dozens turned to hundreds. On Saturday, Parisseaux's actual birthday, some 3,000 cards came—bringing the total to about 30,000, the Local reports. "We got cards from everywhere: Sri Lanka, Chicago, Hong Kong ... sometimes with child's drawings," says Parisseaux's mother, Jacqueline. "I don't understand why it got so big. Manuel is like us: He is moved to tears," she tells AFP.
Jacqueline Parisseaux posted the note on her husband's Facebook page on Nov. 3: "My son Manuel is going to turn 30 years old on November 22. He has Down Syndrome. I'm writing to ask you to take a couple minutes to send him a little card and to pass this information on to your friends so the chain doesn't get broken." It certainly didn't: The cards—along with chocolate and cakes—came in literal truckloads, with the mail carrier unable to bring them all by hand. They had to be stored in a neighbor's garage, the Local notes. "We are surprised by this outpouring of generosity and messages of support and kindness. The world is not indifferent after all," his mother tells a French paper, via the Independent. (Case in point: a recent rescue in the Buffalo snow.)