BRICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A New Jersey man is in for a special surprise for his 102nd birthday.
George Campbell may be more than a century old, but he doesn’t need glasses or extra light to read his birthday cards.
What he will need soon, however, is a large place to display the cards — all 2,000 of them and counting.
“I enjoy reading the cards, comparing some of the notes that are written on them,” Campbell said.
On Thursday, Campbell will turn 102 years old.
To celebrate the milestone, workers at his Brick retirement home, Willow Springs, posted on its Facebook page a picture of the Jersey-born man holding a sign asking for 102 cards.
What came next, they never saw coming.
“[We] just thought it would be, like, local. I thought, like, half the residents would end up making cards and we would do it,” said Willow Springs activity director Jennie Campbell.
Days later, love and support from complete strangers came pouring in from 40 states, Germany and Ireland. It’s 20 times the amount of cards they asked for.
Tricia Campbell McAvoy, Campbell’s daughter, says it’s overwhelming.
“It’s just a wonderful, wonderful experience,” she said.
Campbell spent four years in the Navy during World War II. Most cards acknowledge that.
The staff and family are keeping the amount of cards a surprise for Campbell, only giving him a few a day until his birthday. That’s when they will dazzle him with a big dose of reading material that will probably last him until his next birthday.