Lonely grandmother rescued by social media
A LONELY, elderly Sydney woman felt "depressed" after she was forced to buy herself her own birthday cake with the little bit of money she had left in her purse.
But what happened next was something she never expected.
Barbara Vos' granddaughter Stacey McLachlan heard that her granny had spent her 70th birthday at Minto Mall, in Sydney's south west, where she was spotted purchasing a cake.
The 21-year-old decided to boost Ms Vos' spirits by posting on Camden-Narellan Community Noticeboard for people to reach out to her and wish her a happy birthday.
Her idea behind this was to read out the messages to Ms Vos later on to show her how "loved" she was.
The post amassed about 1,400 comments and floods of flowers and hundreds of dollars of gifts were sent to Ms Vos' home, in what was supposed to be a simple gesture.
"I was not expecting that from the community," Ms McLachlan told The Daily Telegraph today.
"So many people inboxed me and a local furniture business gave her a $200 gift voucher.
"I popped over late last night - she was so overwhelmed."
Ms McLachlan wrote on the page for "a massive favour" yesterday.
"It's my Nan's 70th birthday today and unfortunately I cannot be with her. My Nan is such a beautiful person and I love her immensely," she wrote.
"She lives with her son who is not well at all and doesn't leave the house. My grandad is in a nursing home with alcohol related dementia so she gets very lonely as you can imagine.
"She lives in a little unit in Minto and people might often see her grocery shopping at Minto Mall with the little money she has. I would be soooo happy if you could wish her a Happy 70th Birthday on this page so that I can show her all the love and birthday wishes!
"It breaks my heart when I was told by someone I know had bumped into her at the shops yesterday and she was saying she was feeling depressed and buying herself a birthday cake. If you could show a lonely lady some love her way, I will be forever grateful."
Hundreds of comments bombarded the page.
One person wrote: "Happy birthday, Barbara. Hope your birthday is as awesome as your granddaughter, she obviously loves you so much."
Another said: "Barbara, hope your special day was incredibly full of love. By looking at all the good wishes you had, I have no doubt you felt loved, I'm sending you more love today xxx"
An "overwhelmed" Ms McLachlan took to social media again to thank people for their generosity and for helping her grandmother.
"From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank every single one of you amazing people who have wished my nan a Happy 70th Birthday and for making her day extra special," she wrote.
"We are so overwhelmed with the amount of beautiful comments and gifts received from complete strangers.
"She is absolutely speechless and will never forget it. I gave her a call earlier on to see how her day was going and she said, 'I just got a few visits from some really nice people on Instagram or something, I don't even have Instagram'."
Originally published as Granddaughter's plea for 'lonely' Sydney nan