FITCHBURG (CBS) – A 10-year-old boy told his mother he didn’t have any friends, and that’s when his mom took action to prove him wrong.
And the turnout and community support was more than his mom could ever have imagined. As JoJo Ragsdale scrambled into a chair amid the trimming of his 10th birthday, complete strangers were in a nearby parking lot on a mission.READ MORE: Brigham And Women's 'Hearts On The Bridge' Display Honors Lives Lost And Saved From COVID
“He doesn’t think he has any friends. He doesn’t think any cares it’s his birthday. And as a parent myself, that just weighed on me,” Mike Morgan said.
It began on Tuesday, with a post on Fitchburg’s community Facebook page from a distraught mom, lamenting her son’s funk, amid his struggles to make friends.
JoJo is autistic, and as his birthday approached, he grew more and more depressed, telling his mom there wasn’t much point in having a party because nobody would come.
This afternoon, when fire trucks, police cruisers and honking well-wishers thundered down the street, a boy’s spirit soared and a mom’s heart melted.
“You know, I’m like in awe right now. I’m very very shocked and grateful,” said Justina Ragsdale, JoJo’s mother. “You know, people are still good.”READ MORE: Worcester Police Shoot, Kill Heavily Armed Man Making Bomb Threat
But it got better, with pizza and presents, like a $300 Amazon gift card from Lamacchia Realty and bike helmet from Fitchburg Police.
“He was concerned he had no friends and no one would show up, and obviously that just broke our heart,” said Lt. Jeffrey Howe.
Passing cars dropped off gifts, and Jonas Baez gave JoJo all of his childhood legos.
“This was a perfect time to help a little kid out. It’s unfortunate, but he’s a sweet kid,” said Baez.
And for the man who threw this together in 24 hours came the simple satisfaction of a kind gesture.
“How can you not feel for that and want to do something to change his day and change his outlook on his birthday?” said Morgan.MORE NEWS: Gisele Bundchen Joining Boston-Based DraftKings As 'Special Advisor'
For a kid certain nobody would show, the best birthday ever.