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Why The Internet Is Rallying Around This Autistic Teen

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Get ready for your daily cry: A photo of an autistic teenager sitting alone at her 18th birthday party after no one showed up has gone viral, prompting strangers to send a deluge of birthday cards to the girl.

A Facebook post shared by her cousin, Rebecca Lyn Guildford, showed a heartbreaking photo of Hallee Sorenson on her 18th birthday, eating cake alone at a table covered with birthday decorations.

“Below is a picture of Hallee last year at her 18th birthday party,” Guildford wrote. “She had been so excited to have a party with her friends. She wanted to go bowling, have fun, and eat cake and ice cream. Invitations went out to her classmates at school and to other friends in the area. Hallee sat at her party, anxiously waiting for her friends to arrive so they could have fun...but Hallee's friends would never arrive. Not a single one.”

Sorenson’s mother, Allyson Seel-Sorenson, told BuzzFeed that seeing her daughter crying over her birthday cupcakes while wearing a party hat was an “absolute heartbreak.” They donated the leftover food to a homeless shelter and went home.

As Sorenson’s birthday came back around this year, Guildford was determined not to see a repeat. She posted the image to Facebook, asking friends to send along a birthday card to brighten her birthday. She hoped to get her cousin 50 cards. Instead, the post has been shared over 200,000 times.

"This has blown up to something I couldn't have even thought of in my wildest dreams," Guildford told NBC New York. "It's overwhelming, but in a good way. I definitely never saw this coming."

She said that though she can’t erase the disappointment of the previous year, she hopes to replace all the bad memories with new happy ones.

It looks like her dreams might be able to come true. According to BuzzFeed, on Friday alone, the delivery truck stopped at Sorenson’s house three times. New friends had sent Sorenson seven floral arrangements and 30 birthday cards.

Sorenson’s 19th birthday isn’t until July, so there’s still plenty of time to send a card if you want. You can write to her at:

Hallee Sorenson
34 Wellesley Way
Bangor, ME 04401
U.S.A.
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