Sammy Nickalls
May 29, 2015 9:48 am

It’s not even Winnie Blagden’s birthday yet, and she’s already received thousands of cards. And no, that’s not an exaggeration. 99-year-old Winnie turns 100 on Sunday, and people all over the world are celebrating; on top of the 16,000 cards she was sent, she’s also received over 200 presents and dozens of flower bouquets, according to BBC Radio Sheffield.

But let’s back up. Winnie is, of course, fabulous, but how did all of this start? BBC Radio Sheffield caught wind of the soon-to-be-centenarian and her May birthday. . . and that she’d have no one to share the big day with. She recently lost her husband, George, and the couple had no children.

So the station started a Facebook campaign for Winnie in mid-May to make Winnie’s birthday the best ever. “This is 99 year old Winnie,” wrote the station. “She was born in Sheffield, and has lived in the city her whole life. It’s her 100th birthday at the end of May, but she has no family at all and not much contact with the outside world, apart from her carers.”

The station implored listeners to help make her birthday “really special.” “To start with, we’d like to get Winnie some birthday cards and letters to open on her big day,” they explained, posting their address. AH, OUR HEARTS ARE BURSTING.

The plea was seen by 2.5 million people, reports The Telegraph,-and people from all over the world responded. And boy, did people deliver. Not only did she receive thousands of cards and gifts, but the station decided to plan a big surprise party for her at the local town hall!

The entire room was totally packed with people who wanted to show Winnie a wonderful birthday, including singers and performers:

There was PLENTY of cake (look at that perfect icing–we’re hungry just looking at it):

And, of course, piles and piles of cards and gifts:

The entire thing happened because of BBC reporter Kat Harbourne, pictured below.

“I met one of Winnie’s carers, Sue Pinder, at a BBC roadshow earlier this month,” Kat said, according to The Telegraph. “Sue was worried that, as Winnie has no family, she would not have a very good birthday. We got thinking and decided to put out a small appeal to see if we could get a hundred cards or letters for Winnie to open on her birthday. We’ve been staggered by the response.”

As for Winnie, she was totally stunned and beaming. “Everything has been lovely, I’m not used to it,” Winnie told the crowd. “I don’t know why they’re making all this fuss, but I want to thank everyone, it’s been beautiful.”

Happy birthday, Winnie! You are so fabulous and classy, and we hope we look as gorgeous as you do at 100. It’s clear you’ve already had a great birthday, but we hope Sunday is just as amazing!

[Images via]

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