Never underestimate the power of reaching out and asking for help. You might expect just a little—or nothing at all—but the droves of people that God puts in your life will astound you.
This is exactly the lesson that Sue Morse learned when she reached out for help in making her dad’s 96th birthday an extra special one.
After all, Sue’s dad, Duane Sherman, is an extra special man.
Hailing from California, Sherman served his country in World War II. He joined the Navy not long after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Lamson, a destroyer that carried him safely through many battles in the Pacific.
In 1944, Sherman became the recipient of a Purple Heart after the Lamson was attacked by Kamikaze pilots. Sherman was hit by shrapnel and survived by floating in a life preserver until he and his crewmates were rescued.
Although Sherman undoubtedly has lived an amazing life since his WWII days, his golden years have grown quite lonely. Lois, his wife of 57 years, died in 2011. According to the Orange County Register, Morse says the only mail her dad gets these days are bills, and he’s long outlived most of his friends.
As her amazing dad’s birthday came around, Morse knew she wanted to do something big to put a smile on his face.
“I wanted to him to feel special on his birthday,” Morse said. So, she put out a call for help on Facebook and invited anyone interested to send Sherman a letter or a card.
Morse told The Register she’d honestly only expected a modest response, maybe a hundred cards if she got very lucky. What happened next totally blew her away.
Cards and notes began trickling in, but that trickle soon became a flood as crates full of letters for Sherman started piling up. In all, Sherman received a whopping 50,000 cards!
“I was amazed, shocked and appreciative,” Sherman said. “All the good comments people made, it just brightened my day.”
People from all 50 states and at least ten countries sent Morse’s sweet dad birthday wishes and greetings on his special day. The cards came from far and wide, from elementary school students, prison inmates, the Secretary of the Navy, and even the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“It was very gratifying,” Sherman said, grinning from ear to ear. “It was hard to believe.”
The sheer volume of the letters is nothing compared to the outpouring of love and honor for Sherman from his neighbors the world around.
So, the next time you feel as though the world might be a cold, uncaring place, just reach out. You might be amazed by just how many people care.