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Card Drive For Aunt Penny’s 94th Birthday

Reseda, CA


It’s May, which mean’s it’s Aunt Penny’s favorite time of year! The week between Mother’s Day and her birthday is super special for her. I am organizing a card drive to help her receive 94 cards for her 94th birthday on May 17th. She has already begun receiving cards from generous stranger friends all over the country and has been absolutely blown away by the love she’s been receiving. It has lifted her spirits so much, and I’m so excited to help her keep feeling loved through her second birthday in Covid lockdown.     We also found out this weekend that Aunt Penny was the victim of theft at her nursing home. When I called her to ask how she was feeling, she was so excited to tell me about all of the cards she’s been receiving that by the time she mentioned the theft it was like an afterthought. She is exactly the kind of person who would lead with love and kindness before focusing on anger or loss, and I’m so grateful to everyone who has offered so much joy for her to focus on.  The person who stole her belongings took money, but Aunt Penny was most upset that they took her handkerchiefs and some special chocolate she had in the same drawer.  I’m including an amazon wish list in case anyone would like to lift her spirits with a small token of love of the chocolate variety.    💌 Cards can be sent to:      𝗣𝗲𝗻𝗻𝘆 𝗣𝗼𝗹𝗮𝗸   𝟳𝟭𝟱𝟬 𝗧𝗮𝗺𝗽𝗮 𝗔𝘃𝗲   𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗸 𝗧𝗮𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝗕𝘂𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴, 𝗙𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗿 𝟯, 𝗥𝗼𝗼𝗺 𝟳𝟭𝟮 B   𝗥𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗱𝗮, 𝗖𝗮 𝟵𝟭𝟯𝟯𝟱   Amazon Wishlist 🎂💗🎁🍫:  —————- Aunt Penny- as she is endearingly known in our family- is about to turn 94 years old in May. Typically, she would be sharing this news with everyone she meets in the mall, asking them with equal shares of excitement and disbelief if they can even fathom how long she’s been alive. Unfortunately, like many seniors in the pandemic, she’s endured an unbearable year in total isolation and she remains in lockdown at the nursing facility where she has lived since 2018.  Our family has been amazed by her fortitude through this crisis, but not surprised. She has long  weathered challenges by leaning on her faith and by focusing on the positive, choosing gratitude each morning when she wakes up and subsiding on the love she has for the alley cat she’s named Buddy in the courtyard downstairs.  After a long year, it’s clear that Aunt Penny is feeling the effects of isolation and the ongoing limitations of the pandemic. She’s a social butterfly who is known for her cheery disposition and dancing- even from her wheelchair- at every opportunity, and being confined to her room has taken a heavy emotional toll. While she gets great care from her staff and is excited to talk to family over FaceTime on her new IPad, we know she needs more attention and socialization that we can solely provide.  With her 2nd locked down birthday approaching, and with her needs for socialization and interaction more critical than ever, I wanted to create a space where the community at large can offer support for our dearly beloved Jewish Buddha. She is the kind of person who buys toys for the children of her staff, who makes it her duty to feed stray cats despite her lack of resources, who meets every stranger as a friend, and who has been singularly devoted to her family since she was a child (literally raising her brother from age 8). She deserves to be loved in kind, and to be supported however possible after surviving the hardest year of her very long, very deeply lived life. She is emotionally and mentally fatigued and finding it hard to maintain her positivity, so any kind of support that can be passed on is sure to go a long way. She would also love and would be so surprised to receive letters or cards, especially those acknowledging her birthday on May 17th. Her favorite things are animals (especially dogs and cats), flowers, and babies. Any photos, cards, calendars or other gifts along those lines are sure to thrill her. 

Special Notes

Her address for cards or letters is: Penny Polak 7150 Tampa Ave Mark Taper Building, Floor 3, Room 712B Reseda, Ca 91335 

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