An Australian boy named Corona, who was being bullied because of his moniker, received a typewriter from his pen pal Tom Hanks.
Corona De Vries, 8, and Hanks, 63, began corresponding earlier this month, according to Australia’s 7 News. De Vries reached out after learning that the Oscar-winning actor and his wife, Rita Wilson, had been diagnosed with COVID-19 while on the Gold Coast.
“Are you OK?” De Vries asked in a letter dated April 6. “I love my name but at school people call me ‘the coronavirus.’ I get very sad and angry when people call me this.”
This week, De Vries received a response — and the Corona-brand typewriter Hanks used while he was in Australia filming Baz Luhrmann's upcoming Elvis Presley biopic.
“Your letter made my wife and I feel so wonderful,” Hanks wrote on April 10. “Thank you for being such a good friend. Friends make their friends feel good when they are down.”
Hanks, who has recovered and is back in the U.S., noted that the name Corona means “ring around the sun, a crown.” The typewriter enthusiast then explained his gift.
“I thought this typewriter would suit you,” Hanks revealed. “Ask a grown up how it works. And use it to write me back.”
Hanks, who voiced Sheriff Woody in the "Toy Story" movies, signed off with a reference from the franchise’s theme song.
“Ps:,” Hanks wrote. “You’ve got a friend in me!”