Elderly woman spreads love during pandemic by waving every day to strangers on street corner

An elderly woman in Canada stands on a street corner in her neighborhood each day waving, blowing kisses and giving mock hugs to strangers who drive past.

Helen Jusic, 84, stands at an intersection in Calgary’s Bridgeland neighborhood and tries not to miss a single passerby, according to CTV News. Jusic had been busy volunteering until those activities came to a halt with the coronavirus pandemic.

"I said, 'dear Lord, let me do something.' I felt like a bird in a cage," Jusic told the outlet. 

Her daily dose of kindness began when she passed the intersection and waved to a bus driver, who smiled and waved back to her. A passing vehicle then waved, so again, Jusic waved back. 

"I thought, 'there is something I can do.' And that's how I started," she told CTV News.

Her sweet routine has since been captured in videos shared on social media. Kerry Bennett, a woman who recently returned to Calgary from Toronto to expand her business, posted footage of Jusic waving and blowing kisses to passersby on April 16.

"Calgary feel-good story of the day. This lady stands on the corner every day in Bridgeland and waves and blows kisses and gives mock hugs to everyone who is driving by. So heartwarming," Bennett wrote in a post on Instagram.

helen jusic

Helen Jusic, 84, is pictured waving to people driving by in the Calgary neighborhood of Bridgeland, on April 16, 2021. (Photo credit: Kerry Bennett via Storyful)

Bennett told the local news outlet that Jusic’s kindness felt like "getting a hug that I'd really been missing for a year."

Jusic has received flowers from people thousands of miles away, including admirers in Miami, Florida and Brazil. She received a silk scarf in her mailbox, and many thank you notes, CTV News reported.

One note she received from a health care worker dealing with death and grief amid the ongoing pandemic. It was simply signed, "Your Neighour."

"I use the drive home to clear my mind and my heart from all the heaviness before I come home to my family's needs and wants," reads the letter, according to CTV News. "Your beautiful act of kindness keeps us all be present in the moment and makes us smile."

Jusic said she plans to keep doing her daily routine of waves and air kisses even once the pandemic begins to subside.

This story was reported from Cincinnati.