Swansea native Joanne Bucko Frizado wanted to make sure that her father, Joseph, had a special birthday this year since you only turn 102 once.

She called upon the community to send her father birthday cards, and the response has been overwhelming.

The family has received over 2,200 cards so far, and they are still coming in by the handful.

In January, Frizado put the request out for birthday cards to make her father’s birthday a special one. Her celebration for him the previous year was going to be hard to top after the town declared March 20th “Joe Bucko Day”, followed by a parade down their street. But she figured a few cards from some friendly neighbors would cheer him up.

A few cards turned into thousands, and they are still filling up the family's mailbox.

“We are trying to find a spot for all of them,” said Frizado. “If you saw this house, you wouldn’t believe it.”

Frizado said her father, a Navy veteran of World War II, waits patiently for the mailman every day in anticipation of a new stack of birthday cards.

“One day, we almost got 600 cards in one day,” she said. “They have been coming in by the hundreds.”

And Joe hasn’t even opened all of them yet, in hopes of prolonging the joyful routine of opening the cards and reading the heartfelt messages inside.

“Most of the cards thank him for his service, but some locals remember his fish and tackle store,” said Frizado. “He loves it, and he reads every single one.”

Joe doesn’t let his daughter open them either. That’s his own special moment.

“I’m so excited for him,” said Frizado. “Before this, he would sit here day by day with nothing to do, and now he has something to look forward to each day.”

At 102 years old, I am sure Joe Bucko has experienced many different moments of happiness, but the latest act of kindness from his neighbors is the type of wholesome behavior that restores my faith in humanity.

The birthday cards are continuing to show up at Joe’s door, so let’s keep the trend going. He turns 102 on March 20th, but why stop there? Let’s keep this man smiling all year long.

Birthday cards for Joe Bucko can be sent to 43 Laurel Avenue, Swansea, MA 02777.

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