When Gregory Jones, 5, invited his five friends to his birthday party Saturday, everybody declined. He was set to have a quiet fifth birthday party at Mountasia, a family fun center, with his grandparents, aunt and uncle, and his two cousins.
But that’s not the reception his mother, Latrice Jones, had in mind for her son, who was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
“Do you know how hard it was for me to tell him yesterday that no one he invited is coming?” wrote Jones in a Facebook post. “I just hope that he has as much fun as possible today, and just remembers how much fun he had and not that no one showed up.”
Several hours later, the post was widely shared and posted across multiple community groups.
“I posted it, and this morning I just got a flood of messages of people wanting to come and bring him presents,” said Jones.
One of those willing partygoers also contacted the sheriff’s and fire departments and invited them to come.
When the Jones’s arrived to Mountasia for the party, so did dozens of other SCV residents who had never met Greg. He shyly greeted his new friends and kept a calm demeanor, until finally letting loose when multiple police units and a fire truck rolled in to wish him a happy birthday.
“I was not expecting any of this,” said Latrice Jones. “I’ve never met any of these people before.”
Her son sat in the driver’s seat of a fire engine before moving into a police car and pushing every button that peaked his curiosity.
He said very little, but his awestruck reaction was loud and clear.
When everyone went inside for food and cake, Greg talked about his adventures in transitional Kindergarten. He explained how his fish named Starfish, wasn’t actually a starfish and how it had recently passed away.
When asked what his favorite subject at school was, Greg replied, “What’s a subject?”
He quickly chose science as his favorite, and waited for the next question.
It was to be expected that the boy was fully aware he not only made dozens of new friends in a single day, but that he’d successfully brought together a community of people all similarly interested in doing a good deed for a stranger.
When deputies turned on the police intercom and invited young Greg Jones to speak into it, he said, “I love you, mom.”