Strangers from across the Toronto area and the world turned to social media to reach out to a boy who was upset after no one RSVP'd to his birthday party.
Odin Camus, who lives in Peterborough, Ont., turned 13 on Friday. But after no one said they'd come to his party, his mom went online — inviting anyone who wanted to show up to the party at a local bowling alley.
She noted that Odin, who has Asperger's syndrome, "struggles with bullying."
"We tried to have a birthday party for him and that didn't quite work out," said Melissa Camus. "So [Friday] morning I thought it would be fun for his birthday — seeing as he got a 'big boy' cell phone — to get some texts from people saying happy birthday. And it just went crazy from there."
The hashtag #odinbirthday soon exploded with activity — with best wishes pouring in from notables including the Toronto Raptors, the Toronto Blue Jays, some Nickelodeon TV stars, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau and actor Elijah Wood.
It was the top trending hashtag in Canada on Friday evening, beating heavy hitters such as #MarchMadness, #firstdayofspring and comments on the final episode of Glee, #gleegoodbye.
According to one estimate, the hashtag had seen some 11,000 tweets by late Friday evening, from as far away as Indonesia, Africa and South America. Hundreds of other messages came in via SMS.
Dozens also turned out for his party at a Peterborough-area bowling alley, cheering as Odin arrived in a white limo, and singing Happy Birthday.
"It's just absolutely, truly amazing," he said.
His mother posted an update at one point, thanking the rest of the world for the overwhelming response.
"As Odin says, best birthday ever," she tweeted. "Thank you all."
Happy Birthday, Odin!— @woodelijah
Wishing Odin a very happy 13th birthday today! Hope you have a great day. Bonne fête! #OdinBirthday— @JustinTrudeau