Photo from Lucien Parisseux/Facebook
When Lucien Parisseux made an appeal on Facebook that friends send his son Manuel postcards for his birthday, he probably didn’t expect much. After all, he only has 24 friends on the social network.
So Lucien and Manuel, who has Down Syndrome, must have gotten quite a shock when nearly 30,000 cards from across the globe poured into their Calais, France, home.
On Nov. 3, Parisseux posted: “Hello to all. I have a request to make of all of my Facebook friends: My son Manuel is going to be 30 years old on 11/22/14. He loves getting postcards. My son has Downs Syndrome. I’m coming to you to ask that you to take a few minutes of your time to send him a little card and to pass this information on to your friends so as not to stop my chain. Thank you to all of you for your gesture that will make my Manu super happy.” Since then, the post has been shared more than 120,000 times. Postcards have been sent from as far away as Taiwan, Dubai and Russia, according to the newspaper Nord Littoral.
“I’ve worked 20 years at the post office and I’ve never seen anything like this,” the mailman told the Nord Pas-de-Calais newspaper. On one trip, the mailman had to use a truck to take more than 5,000 letters to Manuel’s home.
Friends of Manuel’s parents aren’t surprised that Parisseux made this appeal for his son, and are glad to see their hard work paying off. “This story is fantastic. It rewards his parents, who have raised Manuel in an exemplary fashion,” a family friend, Danièle, told the website La Voix du Nord. “They take him everywhere. Manuel, thanks to them, is truly happy.”
Manuel’s parents are overwhelmed at the outpouring from their plea. “You realize, he has already received almost 30,000 pieces of mail and it’s not finished,” Parisseux told La Voix du Nord. “And from the whole world. He is going to get an amazing geography course.”
Manuel’s mother, Jacqueline, echoes the sentiment. “We are a little overwhelmed, we never imagined that the appeal put out on Facebook by my husband would provoke a phenomenon of this breadth,” she told La Voix du Nord. “It’s beautiful, it’s magnificent!”