For most people, birthdays come with goodwill messages, perhaps a dozen or so from friends and family. If it’s a special birthday, they may get more. But few will beat last week’s haul by East Ender Millie Finger. As she turned 100, she woke up to more than 1,500 messages of love from around the world. Many were from complete strangers.

“It is marvelous what everyone has done for me,” said Milly, who now lives alone in a council flat above Watney Market. “I love you all. Thank you.”

Milly’s daughter passed away several years ago, and her only remaining family – a niece and nephew – do not live nearby, so she has been embraced by the Jewish Care team, whose staff and volunteers threw her a party to remember at Stepney and Brenner Day Centre, where she attends four days a week.

The centenarian has been a staunch supporter of the charity’s work, recalling her story last year in a fundraising film story which charity bosses said “touched the hearts of many members of the community”.

Millie's 100th Birthday at Jewish Care Stepney Community Centre. (Photo credit: Blake Ezra Photography)

Millie’s 100th Birthday at Jewish Care Stepney Community Centre.
(Photo credit: Blake Ezra Photography)

Millie's 100th Birthday at Jewish Care Stepney Community Centre. (Photo credit: Blake Ezra Photography)

Millie’s 100th Birthday at Jewish Care Stepney Community Centre.
(Photo credit: Blake Ezra Photography)

Ahead of the big day, the charity went online and in-search of those who may want to leave Milly a message on her birthday, and were overwhelmed by the response, with1,500 birthday messages posted through Facebook alone.

“It was so much more than a 100th birthday celebration,” said Jewish Care Trustee Nicola Loftus. “It was Jewish Care at its very best. An abundance of love, warmth and sense of community is what made today so very special.”