All of the people who sent those cards are more organized than me. (via @MalcolmMcNally)
James Gray is an 85-year-old Irish retired butler living in London. He doesn't have any family, many of his friends have passed away, and frailty prevents him from getting out and about like he used to. As a result, though he doesn't like it, Gray has gotten used to being alone most of the time. The hardest time of year is Christmas. Gray told the Irish Post: "This time of year is so hard if you are old and alone because it feels like everybody else around you is enjoying themselves."
This would have been Gray's 10th Christmas alone, but he was inspired to try something new. He placed an ad in the Irish Post, asking if any other pensioners would like to get together for Christmas lunch. Sadly, he only got one reply, and that person later canceled.
Then, something magical happened. Niall O'Sullivan of the Irish Post ran a piece about Mr. Gray's quest for companionship. Readers were moved, and pretty soon cards, letters, and invitations to spend Christmas Day together were flooding in from all over the UK and the world. So far, Mr. Gray has received over 1,000 cards:
— The Irish Post (@theirishpost) December 19, 2013
Gray has also received a few gifts, including a bottle of whiskey and a Quality Street toffee penny that someone tucked into a card (omg, this is the most British story of all time). The Post says they're still arranging a special Christmas dinner for Mr. Gray.
But as O'Sullivan reminds readers in an opinion piece for the paper, there are plenty of other lonely people (many elderly) who have nowhere to go for Christmas and no one to turn to the rest of the year. There's probably a lot more we could all be doing. Still, this happy Internet story is a testament to the power of simply asking for help, and the amazing things people can do when they reach out.
So, does this mean love actually is everywhere? (Sorry, had to.)
(by Shira Rachel Danan)