A care home manager turned an older man's heartbreak from his daughter's absence on his 101st birthday into joy after she got strangers to send over 700 birthday cards to him. Here's the whole story.
In August 2021, an older man, Jack Annall, was filled with joy after receiving more than 700 birthday cards from loving strangers to celebrate his 101st birthday. The gesture from the strangers came following a public appeal by his care home manager.
The RAF veteran, who lives in a care home in Halifax, West Yorkshire, revealed an incredible day that he would never forget. The man also joked, noting that it would take him 101 years to read all the cards.
Jack Annall when he was much younger [left} Jack Annall celebrating his 101st birthday [right] | Photo : twitter.com/TimesNow
A BIRTHDAY TO REMEMBER
The emotional man was set to celebrate the occasion alone, as his daughter lived in Australia and could not travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, the intervention of the care home manager, Vicky Gudgin, turned things around.
The woman explained that she felt sad about Annall not celebrating with his daughter, and she thought of the best way to lift his spirit. So, Gudgin involved her community, which turned out to be a great decision.
She appealed to some co-workers and residents at other homes to send cards to Annall at the facility. Although the appeal started small, it skyrocketed after being shared on social media. Several people sent out cards to the man.
Jack Annall and his Care home manager | Photo : Youtube.com/ITV News
Gudgin said initially, she wanted only 101 cards. However, they had already received 700. The kind woman also revealed that they expected 200 more from other veterans and a local group. So, overall, she was hopeful that the cards could get up to 1000.
ANNALL, A RAF VETERAN
Aside from the cards and gifts from strangers, Annall was treated to a visit from a brass band, the local mayor, and an RAF representative. The veteran had served for more than three years in the RAF during World War II.
Birthday cards sent to Jack Annall by strangers on his 101st birthday | Photo : Youtube.com/ITV News
He was part of Number 617 Squadron and worked on various Mosquito planes. Although Annall's time in the force was short, he was still loved, hence the visit and gifts from the Air Force.
A lounge room was set aside in the care home to accommodate all the gifts and cards he received. Annall's big day finally arrived, and although the happy man did not want a big party, he was blessed with tons of love.
Brass band's visit to Jack Annall on his birthday | Photo : Youtube.com/ITV News
HOW IS ANNALL NOW?
Currently, the older man's daughter lives in Sydney. They get to talk twice every week via video call. Annall's niece also visits once a week. The man has no grandchildren but will always be surrounded by love from family and friends.
This story is similar to that of another US veteran, Jack Le Vine, who feared he'd have to spend Veteran's Day alone but was surprised by his amazing neighbors.
A picture of Jack Le Vine at a honorary celebration organized by his neighbors | Photo: twitter.com/nytimes
One of his neighbors was kind enough to put his address on the community's bulletin board and encouraged other neighbors to reach out to the veteran to show their gratitude.
The kind neighbors responded in their numbers, and the gesture left Le Vine in awe. Stories like Annall's and Le Vine's are usually heartwarming and also help to keep the faith in humanity.