Colten Raymer was involved in all the planning for his 7th birthday party. “He helped me design and write the invitations,” Raymer's mom, Meagan Meaker, told TODAY Parents. The rising second-grader then distributed the envelopes to his classmates in Keystone Heights, Florida.
“Every day, Colten would come home from school and ask me if anyone had called to say they were coming,”said Meaker, 23. When a week went by without a single RSVP, Meaker began to worry. “I had this horrible feeling that no one was going to show up,” she said.
On June 8, the day of his “Fortnite”-themed bash, Colten assembled loot bags with handpicked toys and filled a piñata. “He was so excited,” Meaker said. “He had never had a birthday party with friends before, so it was a big deal.”
When they arrived at the outdoor venue, Colten took a seat at a picnic table and began to scan the crowd for his buddies. Meaker's stomach was in knots.
“Colten kept asking, ‘What time is it?’ and ‘Why isn’t anyone here yet?’” Meaker recalled. “Then he started crying and my mother was like, ‘Meagan, you need to do something. You have to make this right.’”
That’s when Meaker had the idea to post to the Keystone Heights Word of Mouth Facebook page. “I asked if anyone in the area wanted to pop by with their children,” she said.
What happened next speaks volumes about the kindness of strangers. Within 15 minutes, Raymer was surrounded by more than 60 well-wishers including local firefighters and police officers.
“Teenage boys took time out of their day to come say ‘hi,’” Meaker said. “Colten couldn’t stop smiling. He was so thankful.”
Raymer's family recently relocated to Florida from upstate New York. “I was overwhelmed by how the community stepped up to help us. We’re new here. We’ve kept to ourselves,” Meaker revealed. “It shows you how good people are.”
As for Raymer, Meaker says he has been telling everyone it was “the best birthday ever.”