Pictures of neighbours celebrating a five-year-old’s birthday by organising a drive-thru parade and flashing birthday cards from their windows in Illinois, US during lockdown are circulating on the social media. Jennifer Schneff Williamson, a resident of Elgin, had to cancel her daughter's birthday party due to social distancing ordered by the government to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
She, however, took to her Facebook account and shared a post saying that her daughter, Olivia, was “feeling a little sad that her friends and family can’t come over to celebrate." She then appealed to the neighbours to participate in a drive-thru parade starting 11:00 to 11:30am on March 26 to celebrate her daughter's birthday. "She would be so excited to know others are excited for her 5th birthday!! Yell out your car window, honk and stay in your pyjamas while making a girl smile!" Jennifer wrote.
Therefore, the neighbours drove past Williamson's house with birthday posters and balloons and yelled birthday wishes to Olivia from inside their cars. They were also reported blasting loud music to lift the girl’s spirits on her birthday. The mother shared the pictures on Facebook, on the neighbourhood community page, thanking everyone for making her daughter’s big day special amid the ongoing hardship.
The Facebook users called the idea innovative and appreciated the unity among the neighbourhood. “Social distancing at its finest", wrote the mother on Facebook. "Thank you, Elgin for reminding me what a great town we live in! 64 cars came by (if I counted them all) honking, waving and holding signs for a solid 30 minutes,” she added delightfully. The post gained over 12,000 shares as users online adored the gesture of the people.
One user wrote, "What a way to still make it special!" Another wrote, "What an awesome idea. Bet Olivia was overjoyed." "Total awesomeness. There are some decent people in this world," a third user wrote. "Awesome when people pull together as share simple happiness, go Elgin,’ wrote a fourth.
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