Thousands of Strangers Step Up to Help Get Boy with Autism a Guinness World Record

Jacob Mackay, who lives in Australia, is on the autism spectrum and loves to collect keyrings. A few months before his 16th birthday, he joked with his mother, Lorraine Mackay, that it would be cool to break the record someday. Lorraine saw her chance to make her son’s birthday special.

The current record is held by a man in Spain who owns a whopping 62,257 keyrings. Jacob’s keyring collection only contained 57. But Lorraine is aiming to change that.

Photo: Facebook/Jacob’s 16th Birthday keyring quest

She used social media to reach out to friends and family asking them to set aside any spare keyrings they had to give to Jacob. She only expected to get a handful, but then her Facebook group suddenly gained worldwide attention and attracted thousands of new members in the span of just a few weeks.

Photo: Facebook/Jacob’s 16th Birthday keyring quest

“This is my son Jacob,” Lorraine shared in a post in the group. “He is keyring-obsessed and one day would like to break the world record for key-rings and key chains (Only 62,200 to go). If you would like to send him a key ring from wherever you are in the world [that] would be amazing.”

Photo: Facebook/Jacob’s 16th Birthday keyring quest

And then, of course, the keyrings began pouring in. Because keyrings are often handed out at events or by companies looking to advertise their goods and services, it seems like the vast majority of us have at least one or two lying around the house not being used. So people were more than happy to give them a new home at Jacob’s house, where they would be appreciated and cherished—and used to break a world record. And in an effort to make sure Jacob gets a wide variety of keyrings, some of his fans have even taken to crafting them out of everyday objects.

“I’ve been contacted by people from the States, Canada, England, Ireland, Wales, Singapore, Dubai, Sweden, South Africa, New Zealand, and heaps from within Australia,” says Lorraine.

Photo: Facebook/Jacob’s 16th Birthday keyring quest

In just a few short weeks, Jacob’s collection has ballooned up to contain around 500 keyrings. There are still several thousand to go, but as Jacob’s fame increases, so does his collection. His mom hopes that they’ll be able to reach their goal by Jacob’s birthday in September, when she plans to surprise him with all the keyrings at one time.

You can send your spare keyrings to Jacob at:

Jacob Mackay
P.O. Box 1675
Southport
4215 Qld
Australia

Elizabeth Nelson

Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?

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