One of the toughest parts of growing up is dealing with the cruelty of bullies. No matter the reason, bullying is never okay and a cause worth getting riled up over. One English father looked to Twitter to find some positivity for his son’s birthday. He never expected to see so many birthday wishes flying in from high places.
As any father would, Christopher Hope-Smith was worried about his son Ollie. He was getting picked on by his peers, and Christopher hoped to lift his spirits for his upcoming birthday. Hope-Smith went on Twitter and made a passioned plea to help his son.
In a chain of tweets, he wrote, “Strange request. Anyone know anyone famous/well known who could send Ollie a positive/9th birthday message. The bully keeps saying to him that everything (Ollie) has, he has bigger/better/more/often. (Ollie) excited for his birthday but keeps being told it won’t be as good as his own. I would be so grateful and I appreciate it is an odd request. Just would love someone to tell him he does mean something and bullying is not ok, ever. (Ollie) I admit has his moments but seeing this other boy get away with this is harrowing. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Thank you.”
Soon after, the tweets went viral and induced a flood of replies from celebrities around the world. Actor Russell Crowe, astronauts Tim Peake and Chris Hadfield, singer Dionne Warwick, anti-bullying advocate Monica Lewinsky, and the Toronto Raptors basketball team were among the well-known names that sent supportive messages wishing Ollie a happy 9th birthday.
His family could not believe how quickly this gained attention. Natalie, Ollie’s mother, went on her husband’s Twitter account to thanks everyone for their support. She said, “You do not know what this means to me and Will to Ollie when we show him… I know that we are definitely not the only ones in the world to be going through this, but I just want to say, from the bottom of my heart ‘Thank You’ so much. You really don’t know what this means, Natalie xx.”