Saskatchewan

Family, friends, strangers send scores of birthday cards to 90-year-old Sask. woman

Because of the pandemic, there wasn't a big celebration for Germaine McLaughlin's 90th so her daughter asked people to send in cards.

After a social media post, the number of people sending cards was overwhelming, her daughter said

People from across Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and as far away as Germany sent cards and flowers to Germaine McLaughlin for her 90th birthday. (Submitted by Cathy Arndt)

Germaine McLaughlin's 90th birthday celebration wasn't typical.

The pandemic meant there was no opportunity for a large party, but McLaughlin's daughter Cathy Arndt had an idea. She posted on social media asking for people to send Germaine — or "Gerry" — cards. 

Because of the post, the 90-year-old spent almost all day on Jan. 20 opening cards and receiving flowers from family, friends and complete strangers. 

More than 90 cards came in to celebrate Germaine McLaughlin's 90th birthday. (Submitted by Cathy Arndt)

"I never thought I'd reach the age of 90 really," McLaughlin said from her home in Weyburn, Sask.

"It's quite nice to be acknowledged and just know that somebody's thinking about you," she said. "I'm pretty happy about this … pretty surprised." 

Arndt said she wasn't expecting to get that much for her mother's birthday, then people started sharing the post, including people outside of Saskatchewan. 

"Boy, the cards just started coming in," Arndt said. "And every day there was 10 or more cards coming in the mail."

"The final count is 91 but it sounds like there's many more on their way to my mom."

Cards came in from across Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia and one from Germany. 

"It was overwhelming," Arndt said. "So much love."

Germanie McLaughlin turned 90 on Jan. 20 and was gifted flowers and cards from across Western Canada. (Submitted by Cathy Arndt)

Arndt said people may have gotten on board because it gave them something positive to dwell on. 

"With hearing of so many deaths with COVID, it's just such a positive thing to think about."

"We have to make the best of everything nowadays. We could be down and out about it all. But really, you have to look at the silver lining and the goodness in the world."

Arndt said people shouldn't underestimate the kindness out there in the country.

McLaughlin said on her special day she's feeling the love. 

"Thank you for everything," McLaughlin said. "And for my good wishes." 

People sent in cards and flowers from across Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. (Submitted by Cathy Arndt)

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