An autistic 10-year-old boy from Louisiana who hoped to get 1,000 Christmas cards in the mail this year has more than exceeded his goal as hundreds of touching letters and inspirational messages continue to pour in every day, his mother says.
More than 3,500 people have so far answered little Sean Stewart’s call, after the fourth grader’s mom put out a heartfelt request on social media for people to send him Christmas cards. “We’re trying to keep up with the mail. It’s definitely going to surpass 5,000 before it’s over,” his mom Jennifer Robertson tells TIME. “It’s just been overwhelming. I never imagined in my wildest dreams that we’d be able to meet the goal.”
Sean was diagnosed with autism five years ago, Robertson says, and last year he learned he was losing his hearing. That’s when Robertson, a 42-year-old teacher from of Natchitoches, Louisiana decided she would ask friends and family members to send Sean mail, as he loves opening letters. Thanks to their efforts, he received an impressive 450 letters.
But this year would be different. Sean’s request went viral after it was broadcast on local television news stations in Louisiana, and the creative boy who loves art and geography started getting inundated with Christmas cards. “We’ve had people [send them] from California, Texas, New Jersey, New York, Kentucky,” Robertson says, with one letter coming from an Air Force captain based in Qatar.
“It just talks about how Sean’s so brave and an awesome young man, how he had been bullied when he was younger,” Robertson says, breaking down in tears. “It’s extremely sweet. It’s just precious.”
Photo Courtesy Jennifer Robertson Sean Stewart, 10, has received over 3,500 Christmas cards after his letter campaign went viral.
Sean has also written his own Christmas letter to Safyre Terry, the 8-year-old New York girl who was badly burned in an arson fire that killed her family. Safyre made a similar call for Christmas cards and received more than 430,000, the New York Times reported. “We want to share the love,” Robertson says. “He introduced himself and talks about how he hopes she gets better, how he’d like to be her friend.”
“I just think it’s wonderful that complete strangers want to do something so sweet and selfless, especially at this time of the year when there’s so much sadness,” she adds. “That’s what Christmas is about.”
Readers who want to send Sean their own cards can address them to:
PO Box 359