A 91-year-old widower is starting his birthday celebrations a month early after his daughter’s tweet asking people to send him birthday cards went viral.
It is not Gerard Dunn’s birthday until October 16th, but he has already received scores of letters, cards, and notes from well-wishers and strangers around the world. His birthday greetings have been sent both via mail and shared on social media, where hundreds of photos have been uploaded of cards waiting to be sent closer to the big day.
After the Nova Scotia resident lost his wife earlier this year, the arrival of mail through his door has become a highlight of his day and a comfort to him. Speaking with CTV News, who first reported the story, Dunn explained that receiving mail was a welcome distraction. He said, “It helps, because there are lots of times during the day… I find myself talking to her,” referring to his late wife.
He added that he often finds himself, “watching that mail slot like you wouldn’t believe.”
Seeing her Dad’s fondness of snail-mail, Miriam Dunn took to Twitter to rally her followers and encourage people to send mail for his upcoming birthday. She hoped the post would bring in a few dozen extra cards for Gerard to open as he celebrated 92 years. Little did she know that her post would be shared more than 20,000 times and liked more than 45,000 times.
The father-daughter pair are both in awe of how well the campaign has taken off. Gerard is particularly moved by the kindness of strangers, saying, “I’m so amazed at it that I’m speechless.
The simple tweet was addressed to Miriam’s friends and asks them to please mail “a note, card, picture, map or story.” She tugs on her friends' heartstrings with the reason behind her request, saying that her dad, “waits for the mail every day” since losing his wife.
ATTENTION FRIENDS: Since Mom died this past Spring, my 92 YO dad waits for mail every day. Listens for the squeak of the mail slot opening. His BDAY is Oct. Please mail a note, card, picture, map or story to— Miriam Dunn (@Miridunn) September 24, 2018
96 Summerhill Avenue
Sydney, Nova Scotia
The viral post has truly achieved a global reach, with some kind strangers posting cards from as far away as Scotland, South Africa, Spain, and even Australia. He has even received one note written in the Mi’Kmaq indigenous language.
In a further demonstration of her love and admiration of her father, Miriam Dunn posted a video on the Twitter thread of her dad and brother playing an impressive duet on the piano from 2013. She assures her followers that they will be “BLOWN AWAY by his mad skills.”
Mr Dunn is a very talented piano player and can be seen accompanying his daughter as she sings along in the original CTV report.
It is not surprising that Mr. Dunn has such a special place in his heart for old-fashioned snail-mail. He has had a close affiliation with the postal service for most of his life, spending 55 years as a post office employee.
With new mail arriving daily, the Dunns can be sure that birthday number 92 will certainly be one to remember.