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The Birthday Wish of a 105-Year-Old Activist

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).

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Read more: Aging, Do Good, Healthy Aging, Inspiration, Make a Difference, News & Issues, , , , , ,

By Anne-Marie Botek, Editor

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6:03AM PDT on Mar 18, 2013

I can imagine vampires and Time Lords going, "105? That is so young she is practically a newborn!"

5:35PM PST on Mar 1, 2013


8:26AM PST on Mar 1, 2013

What an incredible lady!!! I am off to 'Like' her charity on Facebook. Thanks for sharing this great story!

6:29PM PST on Feb 10, 2013


3:32AM PST on Feb 8, 2013

it's the positive attitude that helps people live long and full lives. when i used to be a carer in the community, one of my regular clients i helped out was 103 years old. she still lived by herself and only needed help with washing her back, opening the milk and doing the weekly shopping as she couldn't carry a lot. she always had a smile on her face and was always looking forward to tomorrow and what surprises it would bring. interestingly, diet also plays a significant part as well, as another client, although only 98, said she never drank or smoked and it was only due to being deaf in one ear and from having some fingers cut off from an accident in the factory she once worked at; that she actually needed any help! and i believe it's china which has the most people who live beyond 100!

11:37PM PST on Feb 7, 2013

I love her. Awesome woman!

3:51AM PST on Feb 4, 2013


8:57PM PST on Feb 3, 2013

LIKE X 1,0000000000000000000000000000000000000000!

12:29PM PST on Feb 3, 2013

What a rare gem

12:06PM PST on Feb 3, 2013

Happy Birthday! Kolejnych 100 lat w otoczeniu przyjaciół.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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