Man asks for new holiday friends, community comes out to support

Regional News

(WTAJ/WNEP) — It was a message that reminded us of what the holidays are really about after a Pennsylvania man said he spends holidays and his birthday alone every year.

Elizabeth Worthington reports that a crowd of over 100 people mostly strangers gathered in Archbald on this rainy Thanksgiving morning just to wish one man a happy holiday

Happy Thanksgiving! Thank you very much, young ladies!

The night before Thanksgiving, our viewers heard a simple request during the Talkback 16 segment from a man who has spent his holidays alone for 15 years and just wants someone to keep him company.

“I’ve got a request. I don’t want any food, how about some friends.. 15 years I haven’t have anybody to spend thanksgiving with, my birthday, Christmas, new year’s. It’s getting boring as hell, but I love what you’re doing to help other people,” said caller.

That one phone call led hundreds of other viewers reaching out, asking how they could find this man. The station was immediately flooded with phone calls and messages on social media.

So we gave him a callback.

“I Seriously though it was a joke,” said Carl Braun: 60-year-old disabled veteran.

Nope, we weren’t messing around. We learned his name is Carl Braun. He’s a 60-year-old disabled veteran who lives in Archbald.

We put a call out on social media to meet at a park in the borough so we could surprise him. Mission accomplished.

“I just could not believe that that many people did have open hearts, that cared,” said Braun

“There are two dinners to take home, and we hope you enjoy them.” said a resident.

“There are some cookies here, and my phone number’s in there if you want somebody to talk to,” said a resident.

Carl went from having no plans, and no one to spend the holiday with, to having more invitations than he knew what to do with!

“We would like to invite you to our house. We live in Archbald we’re gonna eat at 4. Can we come to pick you up?” said a resident.

He’s already booked for thanksgiving dinner and a Christmas Eve party.

“In over 25 years, since I lost my mom, this is one of the first thanksgivings where I can actually say, ‘i’m having fun,” said Braun.

Now Carl has one more message he wants you to hear. Keep your hearts open all year long, not just around the holidays.

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