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Make a 105-Year-Old's Birthday Wish Come True, Light a Candle on World's Largest (Virtual) Birthday Cake

Volunteer's Birthday Wish is to Grow Her Favorite Nonprofit's Facebook "Likes" to 105,000

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., Dec. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- At 104 years old, Edythe Kirchmaier has been serving others for more than a century, 40 years of which have been as a volunteer with Direct Relief International. As Edythe approaches her 105th birthday, she hopes to inspire the world to make a difference, as she has, by raising awareness for the charity to which she's dedicated much of her life, Direct Relief. To honor Edythe and celebrate her milestone birthday on January 22, 2013, Direct Relief has created the world's largest (virtual) birthday cake, a Facebook application called Edythe's 105th Birthday Challenge, which will enable the world to light a candle and wish Edythe a happy birthday.

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The goal of Edythe's 105th Birthday Challenge is to generate 105,000 birthday wishes for Edythe, which will equate to 105,000 Facebook fans for Direct Relief and make Edythe's birthday wish come true.

"Edythe is an amazing source of inspiration and joy and such a powerful example of personal commitment to make a difference through the course of one's life," says Direct Relief's Vice President of Communications, Kerri Murray. "We should not have been surprised, given Edythe's tireless service, that she wanted to use her 105th birthday to encourage others to join in the mission of improving the health and lives of people in need. It is a deeply heartwarming gesture."

Well-wishers can participate in Edythe's 105th Birthday Challenge by visiting the app on Direct Relief's Facebook page at They are also invited to join the conversation on Twitter, via the hashtag #lightacandle.

About Edythe
Born in Dayton, Ohio in 1908, Edythe Kirchmaier has been serving others for more than a century. Throughout her incredible life she has been a member of the YWCA girls clubs, active in her high school Glee Club, a Girl Scouts troop leader, in the PTA, as well as in the First Presbyterian church, where she continues to be an energetic member.  Edythe will celebrate her 105th birthday on January 22, 2013, volunteering at Direct Relief, as she does every Tuesday. To learn more about Edythe please feel free to visit her Facebook page at

About Direct Relief International
Since 1948, Direct Relief International has worked to improve the quality of life for people affected by poverty, disaster, and civil unrest at home and around the world. Direct Relief works to support the work of healthcare providers in the USA and in more than 70 countries, equipping them with the medicines, supplies, and equipment so they can care for people in need within their communities. The organization has been among the world's largest medical suppliers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, has top charity ratings, including four-star and "top-notch" rating from Charity Navigator, and a 99% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine. For more information, visit

Media Contact:
Kerri Murray, VP Communications
[email protected]
(805) 452-7599

SOURCE Direct Relief International

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