For a young man from Springdale who loves getting mail, it was a big disappointment in June when a promised package didn't arrive. However, thanks to friends and family all over the world, his days are much brighter these days, as hundreds of people have come together to put a smile back on his face.
Andrew Jacobs-Reid is a 24-year-old autistic man from Springdale. His mother, Trina Reid, says back in June around the time of his birthday, Andrew was told he should expect a package in the mail.
"Someone told him they were going to mail him a Birthday gift," she said. "He got really excited, because he loves getting mail and stuff, so he was really looking forward to getting his package."
Andrew's autism causes him to fixate and obsess over certain things. One of those things, says Reid, is getting mail.
"We went to the post office every day to check to see if this package arrived," she said. "Sometimes he even convinced me to go twice a day." However, much to Andrew's disappointment, his package never arrived.
"He was devastated," she said. "He became so upset because he didn't get his mail that he was expecting."
That disappointment never went away, said Reid. Andrew's sadness became part of every day, and finally his mother said she'd had enough.
"I got online one day and posted to my mother and sister's Facebook that Andrew was really upset, and getting some mail would really cheer him up," she said. "So I just asked them if they would send him something."
Then the power of the Internet and social media took over. Reid's family members took the same message, and posted it to some of their friends, who in turn posted it to some of their friends, and so on.
"It just spread all over," she said with a sound of amazement in her voice. "I was getting private messages from people all over asking how they could send a card as well, and looking for more information on Andrew."
Reid's mother soon advised her that she needed a central location that people could gather and get all the information on Andrew and this new project in one place. So Trina created an event on Facebook, and invited a couple of people.
"Then it went viral," she said. Soon thousands of people were invited to the event, and to view the information, and to day over 800 people have joined.
In the days after the event was created, Reid says she and Andrew visited the post office and were overwhelmed with the cards they were receiving.
"We're getting cards, and packages from all over Newfoundland and Labrador, Ontario, Fort McMurray - even from Memphis," she said. One day alone they received nearly 90 cards just in the one day - something that Andrew was quite excited about.
"And it's still going," she said. "We're still getting messages from literally all over the world, asking what they can do, and what sorts of things he likes."
One shop owner called and wanted to know what Andrew liked most. When told he enjoyed cop cars, the owner sent photos of three cars and asked Andrew to pick one out.
"We're just overwhelmed with the kindness and love people are showing," said Reid. And she says perhaps the best part about the project taking off is the look of disappointment isn't on Andrew's face anymore.
"He's definitely not sad anymore," she said. "In fact I don't know if I've ever seen him this happy."
If you would like to send something to Andrew, you can do so by mailing: Andrew Jacobs-Reid, P.O. Box 45, Springdale, NL. A0J 1T0