Simple gift of socks helps 100-year-old Minnesotan celebrate her birthday

- When Rebecca Rud celebrates her 100th birthday later this month, her granddaughter hopes to surprise her with a simple gift, demonstrating the thoughtfulness of Minnesotans around the state. 

“Every time I see a pair of crazy socks now, I think of my grandma,” said Melanie Olinger of St. Cloud. 

Her grandmother, Rebecca, lives in a nursing home in Fosston. A few years ago, a staffer at the nursing home was helping her get dressed, and put her in pair of colorful knee-high socks. The fashion statement stuck. 

“To be honest, I don't know where they found these socks, if she had them or they just put them on her and she liked them because they kept her warm. They were up to her knees, so they were comfortable,” Olinger said. 

After living for nearly a century, Rud is now a great-great grandmother. 

“Especially when they are that old, they don’t have a whole lot going on in their lives and just having the excitement and maybe looking forward to the next day to see what might come in the mail,” Olinger said. 

When Olinger thought of a gift for her birthday, she turned to Facebook

She asked the public to send Rebecca a birthday card and perhaps a pair of fun socks, too. 

“The crazier the better,” Olinger said. 

Olinger said Rebecca’s family will celebrate with her in Fosston on May 26. 

“If she gets so many, we're going to donate them to some of the other ladies at the nursing home, and [it’s] just something for them to remember her by…some of the workers, too, that have really become good friends of hers,” Olinger said. 

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