When Christopher Hope-Smith uploaded a small request on Twitter, he had no idea the internet would help him out like this.
Hope-Smith asked his followers if they knew anyone famous to wish his 8-year-old son, Ollie, on his birthday. Ollie had been bullied about his birthday. His father naturally didn’t want him to feel down on his special day.
“The bully keeps saying that everything O has, he has bigger/better/more often. O excited for his birthday but keeps being told it won't be as good as it's own [sic]. Just would love someone to tell him he does mean something and bullying is not," he wrote on Twitter.
Strange request. Anyone know anyone famous/well known who could send Ollie a positive/9th birthday message. The bully keeps saying to him— Christopher (@Hopenlesmyth) June 29, 2017
that everything O has, he has bigger/better/more often. O excited for his birthday but keeps being told it won't be as good as his own— Christopher (@Hopenlesmyth) June 29, 2017
I would be so grateful and I appreciate it is an odd request. Just would love someone to tell him he does mean something & bullying is not— Christopher (@Hopenlesmyth) June 29, 2017
Soon, these tweets went viral and the internet exhibited its power.
Hope-Smith’s message has been retweeted more than 8,000 times since it was posted and received messages from thousands of people, including celebrities, athletes, parliamentarians, radio jockeys, newscasters and even astronauts.
This is what hip-hop artist Stormzy had to say.
Happy birthday Ollie! You're a lil legend. ??????Don't watch the bullies they always end up being the biggest wastemen later in life— #GSAP (@Stormzy1) June 29, 2017
Australian actor Russell Crowe joined in.
Hey Ollie, heard it was your birthday. 9 years old eh? Congratulations, Happy Birthday !!— Russell Crowe (@russellcrowe) June 29, 2017
A British Labour Party politician even invited Ollie on a trip to the Parliament.
I don't know if I count but please can you wish Ollie a happy birthday from me? If he wants to come and visit Parliament just let me know. https://t.co/zK5FXyMtVW— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) June 30, 2017
ESA astronaut Tim Peake gave a really useful advice.
Hope your 9th birthday is out of this world Ollie. Just remember - a bully is a person too scared to do the right thing. Aim high dude! ??— Tim Peake (@astro_timpeake) June 29, 2017
Famous Radio host, Sara Cox recorded a video message for Ollie.
Happy birthday Ollie! x x x ?? pic.twitter.com/fLtRAAhc57— sara cox (@sarajcox) June 29, 2017
Anti-bullying activist Monica Lewinsky rooted for the birthday boy.
happy birthday, ollie! ??we're rooting for you to have a gr8 day... + rooting for you always. hang in there! pic.twitter.com/EhG2HqGb2K— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) June 29, 2017
Strictly Come Dancing champion Ore Oduba wished Ollie all the success.
Happy Birthday Ollie! Another year bigger, bolder, braver... And a better man than any of those bullies ever will be! Have an amazing day ??— Ore Oduba (@OreOduba) June 29, 2017
Eric Keyes, the character designer for The Simpsons, drew a special Bart wishing him a great birthday.
The England soccer team also wished Ollie and invited him over for a game.
Happy birthday, Ollie! ??— England (@England) June 29, 2017
Fancy coming to see us in September? Let us know and we'll make it happen. ??
After all these amazing messages, Ollie’s mother posted a big thank you to everyone who made their sons day special on her husband’s account.
Hi, I'm Ollie's mum (married to Chris). I don't 'tweet' and always go on at him for spending too much time on Twitter!! However, this time I— Christopher (@Hopenlesmyth) June 29, 2017
"I don't 'tweet' and always go on at him for spending too much time on Twitter!! However, this time I am completely overwhelmed by everyone's kind thoughts,” she wrote.
"You do not know what this means to me and will to Ollie when we show him. I have been battling with this matter for over a year and am only just now being listened to.
"It is heartbreaking listening to an 8-year-old think that he is worthless and 'shouldn't be here'. 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".
Hope-Smith also thanked everyone for all the support.
Guys this has gone crazy and I appreciate all the wonderful messages. No names have been mentioned other than me & my children. I just want— Christopher (@Hopenlesmyth) June 29, 2017
to keep it like that, some people will know the bullies and I hope they keep names out of this. I started this with no malice & certainly— Christopher (@Hopenlesmyth) June 29, 2017
did not expect the reaction it has recieved. I for one thank each & everyone of you. I will respond as and when I can, I promise. Please— Christopher (@Hopenlesmyth) June 29, 2017
just be kind to each other #PASSONTHEPOSITIVE and please be nice.— Christopher (@Hopenlesmyth) June 29, 2017
All of us at Carbonated.tv also want to join in Ollie on his special day too! Happy birthday, cheer up and never let anyone ever bring you down.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters