The caregiver of a Toronto senior is going above and beyond for his 96th birthday, and attempting to collect 96 cards to celebrate.
Janet Stokes has been putting out calls and updates about her mission on a local Birchcliff Facebook group, showing a drop-off bin on a porch where people can contactlessly leave cards for Robert Adams, who is turning 96 on April 26. There's also a mailing address where you can send cards.
"I am a Personal Support Worker (PSW) with The Care Company and I have been helping Robert for the past five years. One of our core values at The Care Company is to 'make each day count.' I strive to do that with all the clients I get to help, and Robert is no exception. Mr. Adams is a WWII Airforce Pilot, and its my pleasure to bring this core value to him," Stokes told blogTO.
"Last year at the start of the pandemic, we were able to organize a neighbourhood socially distanced singing of Happy Birthday to Mr. Adams on his front porch. It was really well received and the Birchcliff community was very supportive. This year I thought I could enlist their help again and we set a goal for Robert to receive 96 cards for his 96th birthday."
So far they've received 46 cards, and have attracted attention from the local legion and Councillor Gary Crawford.
"I started early, not knowing how long it would take to spread the word far enough to get 96 cards. I also wanted to have them far enough in advance to isolate the cards long enough to keep Mr. Adams safe from COVID-19," says Stokes.
"The first step I took was to place a post in the Birchcliff community group on Facebook. Within a very short period of time, cards were arriving in the mail from all over. We got cards from Ajax and Brooklyn Ontario, as well as the Toronto area, there were even some that were hand delivered from the neighborhood."
Daycare children and other community members have been making and dropping off cards for the senior who enlisted in the military in 1942 when he was just 17, and completed 23 years of service in the Canadian Air Force.
There are still 50 cards to go, though, so keep 'em coming to show Mr. Adams some birthday appreciation. Just don't lick or seal the envelopes so they're COVID-safe and easy to open.
Lead photo by Kris Aiken