GOLETA – Edythe Kirchmaier turned 105 years old Tuesday. Direct Relief International threw her a birthday party because she has also volunteered for the organization for 40 years. Kirchmaier said “it’s the thing I like most in the world.”DRI is best known for providing medical supplies to patients in need all over the world. Edythe started out teaching English overseas for the non-profit.Kirchmaier told Newschannel 3 “my husband had retired. I was 67 at the time. And, we decided to do volunteer work in another country. And, Direct Relief sent us to Taiwan. We spent 18 months there and went back and spent another 18 months there.Now, Edythe Kirchmaier donates time writing thank you letters to donors.Kirchmaier still drives herself to DRI headquarters in Goleta every week to volunteer.DRI President and CEO Thomas Tighe said “she came here for years with her husband Joe, but sadly he passed away five years ago, but she came the next day to work and didn’t want to miss a day and it is so touching to know she would think of other folks in her own moment of grief.”Edyth had a career as a social worker, but her daughter says even in retirement she never stops giving to others.On her 105th birthday, Edyth hopes to inspire the world to make a difference, as she has, by giving back.Edythe also hopes you’ll help DRI get 105,000 “likes” on Facebook. You can also light a candle on Edythe’s virtual birthday cake on DRI’s Facebook page.facebook.com/directrelief/app_313014592143358
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