A Coaldale, Alta. mom says she has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support for her son after making a plea for letters.
Amanda Kinney shared her son Carson Swazey's story online in November, and since then, the 19-year-old has received thousands of letters, cards and packages from around the world.
Swazey started walking to the local post office in the spring of 2019 and although he’s non-verbal autistic, Kinney said she could tell he would get frustrated when the mailbox was empty.
So she put out a call for people to send him card and letters and said the response has been amazing.
"People with disabilities are often dismissed and here’s a young man, a young non-verbal man with autism who has softened the hearts of people across the world," she said.
Swazey has received more than 3,000 cards and letters from every province and territory, all but two U.S. states and as far away as Europe, Japan, India and Australia.
“Twenty-four different countries have sent him letters and gifts and kind words,” said Kinney. “And, the world is rooting for him. It’s a wonderful thing.”
Kinney says she always wanted her son to feel loved, respected and embraced for who he is — a young man who loves hockey, looking at photos and being read to — and this outpouring of support has exceeded her wildest expectations.
“This whole experience has been incredible," she said.
Swazey has no plans of stopping his daily walks to the post office as they continue to bring him joy and help him stay healthy.
He’s also lost more than 34 kilograms (75 pounds) since April.
Kinney says while the support means a lot to her, she knows it means even more to her son.
Swazey’s PO Box remains open and he plans to respond to everyone who sends him mail.
Letters can be sent to Swazey at:
PO Box 871