Family asks strangers to send grandmother 100 cards for 100th birthday they can’t spend with her


Making it to 100 years is monumental, but finding a way to celebrate that milestone in the middle of a pandemic inspired a suburban woman to go the extra mile to ensure her grandma’s birthday would not go unnoticed.

Since she was a girl, Laura Horwitz stayed connected with her grandma Alberta Gwin by mail. Separated by thousands of miles, graduations and holidays were all marked with a letter or card. 

But grandma’s birthday was different: always marked by a special trek across the country so Laura could be at her side. 

“She’s one of those people who just has an awesome spirit. In her middle age she sold her home and lived in a camper in all fifty states,” Horwitz said.

It was that adventure that gave Laura her big idea. Since the pandemic prevented her from being there for her grandma’s 100th, what if she could get strangers from every state across the country to mail grandma Alberta a birthday card? 

Horwitz put the call out on Facebook, neighborhood apps and over the phone letting everyone know about grandma Alberta’s upcoming 100th. And sure enough, the cards started coming in. 

“At first it was just one or two cards at a time and now there are more like 11 every day,” Horwitz said. 

Stacks of cards are piling up on her kitchen table from all over the country. The majority are from people who never met Alberta Gwin, but took the time to handwrite a birthday wish for a stranger. 

And while Laura can’t be at Grandma Alberta’s side for her birthday this year due to the pandemic, a box likely holding more than 100 birthday wishes from across the country will be.

“I want her to remember what an amazing life she has lived over the last 100 years and how many people care about that,”

You can leave a birthday message of your own on Facebook by clicking on this link.


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