I know what it's like to be the new kid. I've lived all over the country and whether it was starting at a new school or at a new job, there's always been a hint of awkwardness. I guess that's probably why I always try to go out of my way to be welcoming to new people.

But not everyone goes out of their way to welcome new people with open arms. Especially people with disabilities, a hard lesson one young boy in Chicago discovered.

According to the Huffington Post, Geral Hamilton was planning to celebrate his birthday and invited 30 kids from his school to join on the fun. Gerald is new to his school and all he wanted was to make some friends. Not only is Gerald new to the school, though, he also has some also has some challenges because of a condition that has required him to have several skull expansion surgeries over the years.

Out of the 30 kids that Gerald invited to his party, only 12 said they'd be able to make it. Gerald was excited to get to enjoy his day with some classmates except nobody showed up. Not one single kid went to Gerald's birthday party.

I can only imagine how devastated this sweet boy was to learn the hard truth that there are some very unkind people in the world. Through this, Gerald ended up learning that there are actually more kind people then there are unkind.

Gerald's grandma, Amelia Lara, was really hurt and believed that other parents didn't bring their kids to the party because Gerald is "different." She shared Gerald's story on Facebook and asked for people to send him a birthday card to help him celebrate and lift his spirits. Lara's post was shared over 4,000 times and Gerald started receiving birthday cards right away -- over a thousand of them! Some people even sent presents and promised that they'd remember his birthday next year.

Lara says Gerald is so happy with the cards and loves to read them. He's paid the kindness forward by donating many of the toys he received to a special needs class at his school. However, even with all of the attention Gerald has received, Lara says she hasn't gotten a single apology from any of Gerald's classmates or their parents. What a shame.

Although his birthday has come and gone, if you'd like to send a note of encouragement to Gerald, you can send it here-

Gerald Hamilton
c/o Amelia Lara
238 Main Street
Hobart, IN 46342

[via Huffington Post]