By the time Manuel Parisseaux’s birthday rolled around on Nov 22 so many cards had arrived his family in Calais in northern France had to store them in a neighbour’s garage.
“I don’t understand why it got so big. Manuel is like us, he is moved to tears,” his mother Jacqueline Parisseaux, 61, said.
It all started on November 3, when Manu’s mother, Jacqueline, and her husband posted the following message on her husband’s Facebook page, hoping a few people would take notice:
“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... I thank you all for your gesture, which will make my Manu so happy.”
The cards came by the dozens at first. Then, hundreds arrived from around the world. Soon the letter carrier couldn’t deliver all the cards and they began to come by truck.
“We had a few hassles with Facebook because our post was shared 120,000 times and they thought we were a business or that we were running a scam.
“We got cards from everywhere: Sri Lanka, Chicago, Hong Kong and sometimes with child’s drawings,” the mother said, holding back tears.