Israelis help Canadian boy break birthday card record

Tuesday, June 12, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

More than 20 thousand Israelis helped an eight-year-old Canadian boy last week to fulfill his birthday wish of breaking the Guinness Book record for number of birthday cards received.

Officials at the Israeli Embassy in Ottawa were informed earlier this year about Sean Barnea, who is suffering from cancer, and his quest to set a new world record.

Touched by the young man's story, the Israelis immediately got to work recruiting their countrymen to write birthday greetings to Sean. The campaign was significantly boosted by the embassy's purchase of a large ad in Israel's largest daily newspaper, Yediot Ahronot.

By the time Sean's birthday rolled around last week, he had received more than 20 thousands cards from Israelis, and the embassy said more continue to flow in. Sean and his mother later visited the Israeli Embassy in Ottawa to meet his benefactors.

In all, Sean received more than five million birthday cards from people in 36 different countries, though Israel was the only country where government officials initiated a public campaign to assist the boy. He succeeded in setting a new world record for number birthday cards received.

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