Mother receives 227 Christmas cards, along with many nursing home residents

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- It is a wish come true for one daughter who asked others to help remember her mother this Christmas by sending a card.

"Oh I enjoy it," said Margaret Saukas, 92, who lives at St. Ann's nursing home.

Saukas waits all year to light a special Christmas tree she made years ago. Yet this Christmas was looking a little quieter with her daughter, Pat Rapolevich, recovering from an illness and unable to visit.

“I got them a few days before Christmas, and they just come in bunches you know," said Saukas. "I'd sit there and open them up, look at them," she said with a chuckle.

Christmas was looking quieter until Saukas began to receive 227 Christmas cards.

“I hope you have a great holiday with fun and family, thank you for everything, love Derek and Connor," Saukas read the card from her grandsons among stacks of others.

Loved ones and strangers alike nationwide sent Saukas cards with warm wishes, after Rapolevich posted on the Facebook group, We are Westsiders, asking others to help her mother have a merry Christmas by sending a card.

“Originally when she started getting these I said, ‘What do you think of getting all these cards?’" said Rapolevich. "She said, ‘Well, I guess people remember me,’ and how sweet is that to feel that after living 92 years, to feel like you’re remembered, right?" turning to her mother.

"Really," said Saukas.

It was a simple wish granted to so many more: gifts and cards were also sent for the other seniors living with Margaret at St. Ann's nursing home.

"I just thank everybody that sent me the cards and things and made Christmas very happy," said Saukas.

Her daughter Rapolevich encourages others to reach out and send cards or visit seniors living at nursing homes in your community. As for St. Ann's, Rapolevich and westsiders plan to continue this by sending cards to the seniors this Valentine's Day.

"Just reach out and don’t forget them because like I said, God willing we’ll all be a senior someday, and we’re going to want to feel remembered and that we mattered," said Rapolevich.

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