After recently celebrating birthdays, two residents from Morning Pointe of Franklin assistant living facility now have a lot of catching up to do on their reading.

Dymple Franks, who turned 97 on Sept. 11, and Lilian Daniel, who reached 98 two days later, have each received well over 100 birthday cards over the past week with more still arriving. 

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Lilian Daniel with her stack of birthday cards

“I will be opening these cards for the rest of my life,” Daniel said with a laugh.

The idea for the card avalanche came from Abbi Nelson, life enrichment director for Morning Pointe of Franklin. She recognized the limitations on celebrating birthdays in assisted living homes because of the coronavirus pandemic, but wanted to be sure that Franks and Daniel were remembered on their special days.

So she got the word out on Facebook, and birthday cards have been pouring in locally as well as from nearly every state and several countries, including as far away as Australia.

“You only turn 97 and 98 once,” Nelson said. “They both love cards. Dymple will hold onto cards for years because she just loves re-reading them. And Lilian, for all our residents, she’ll go around and write cards for different holidays and include a Bible verse on each one.

“It’s been an unbelievable experience,” Nelson added. “I can’t believe how far the campaign has spread.  We posted it on the Morning Pointe Facebook page and then I shared it and my friends did the same. Friends of friends shared and wrote cards.”

Daniel lived in McMinnville before coming to Morning Pointe, and Franks is from Franklin. In fact, her ancestors helped in the founding of Franklin back in 1799.

“I am so appreciative and shocked that so many people would care enough to send me cards,” Franks said.

Bradley Hamilton, executive director of Morning Pointe of Franklin, said he is grateful for all the participation there has been in the card campaign.

“Every day, the ladies have been so excited to see what new cards arrive in the mail,” he said. “In this time of COVID and with limited but creative visitation opportunities, these cards mean the world to Dymple and Lilian. I can’t say thank you enough to all those who have taken the time to write in and send a special birthday message.”