A big-hearted birthday wish
It isn’t Kirchmaier’s centenarian status, or her sterling driving record (she’s never received a traffic ticket, parking citation, or been involved in an accident), that make her one of a kind—it is her heart.
For over 40 years, Kirchmaier has been a volunteer for Direct Relief International, a charity that provides medicines and other health care supplies to impoverished areas nationwide, and around the globe.
In a 2012 video interview on the Direct Relief website, Kirchmaier discusses the profound sense of pride she takes in the charity’s work and how much she values being able to be involved in their mission.
She also shares an inspiring message that is one part birthday wish, two parts challenge. “What I would really like, when I am 105, is to see 105,000 people ‘liking’ Direct Relief on Facebook,” she says.
As one of her fellow volunteers attests, Kirchmaier is fond of saying, “I love Direct Relief and I want the world to love Direct Relief.”
“Edythe’s 105th Birthday Challenge,” has garnered national attention, with Kirchmaier making appearances on the Ellen Degeneres Show and Access Hollywood and receiving shout-outs from luminaries such as Jane Lynch and Nicholas Kristof.
If you would like to help make Edythe’s 105th birthday wish come true, you can visit Direct Relief International’s home page, or log on and light a candle on the world’s largest virtual cake on the Direct Relief Facebook page (which, as of the publishing of this article, has 67,000 likes, and counting).