Turning 93 is not an every day occurrence and neither is receiving $93 with the instructions to help others. 

For Elaine Zwickey who just turned 93 years young, this year seemed like the perfect opportunity to give her relatives and friends this once-in-a-life-time chance. 

To celebrate her birthday she did something different. She wanted to spread good will and help as much as she could, especially during this difficult year of COVID-19 challenges. While reading a magazine she read about a woman who had sent out $75 to others on her 75th birthday with the instructions that they should pass the funds on to someone who truly needed them.  

Zwickey decided that for her 93rd birthday, she would do the same. 

Friends and relatives were sent $93 checks by Zwickey on her birthday with the instructions that they should share the money with someone else who was hurting. 

COVID-19 has caused massive increases in unemployment. In April of 2020 the United States unemployment rate bottomed out at 14.8%, a low that hadn’t been reached since the end of World War II. Changing social distancing practices and COVID-19 safety precautions have decreased the numbers of unemployed or furloughed workers in the United States. The financial impact of unemployment and the pandemic is still being felt by many. This is what Zwickey wanted to help  with by sending out her $93 checks. Her hope is that others will do the same. 

Some recipients shared the funds with teachers to help support students and classrooms. One person went to the electric company and paid someone’s outstanding utility bill. Joanna Engstrom thought what Zwickey was doing was so extraordinary that she called the newspaper office when she got her own $93 to share. 

As far away as Washington, funds sent by Zwickey were being used to help those in need. A relative in Washington helped someone they had seen standing on a corner needing help by taking them into a store. With the help of the $93 sent by Zwickey this person purchased necessary supplies.  

“I have gotten a whole lot of satisfaction out of doing this,”said Zwickey. She has hopes that by sharing her story others will be encouraged to reach out and help people who may be struggling during these difficult times of pandemic and isolation.

 The story Zwickey wanted to share was not of her own good deed in sending out the funds, but of the good deeds that are happening all over when the recipients of the $93 found people who were hurting and gave them some much needed extra help. “I hope this inspires others to do the same,” Zwickey said.  


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