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Gwinnett cafeteria worker celebrates 95th birthday with her students

Martha Strickland, known as "Granny", handed out cookies Tuesday at Shiloh Elementary School to celebrate her 95th birthday.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County cafeteria worker is spreading cheer on her birthday.

Martha Strickland, affectionately known as “Granny”, celebrated her 95th birthday Tuesday. For years, Strickland has passed out cookies on her birthday.

This is her 28th year sharing hugs and sweet treats with students at Shiloh Elementary School in Gwinnett County. 

“I enjoy it [working at Shiloh] so much. That's what keeps me going," she said.

"It's a pleasure to come here," she added. "It's not a job because these people are like family. I come to see them every day." 

Strickland is in her second career. She retired from the City of Atlanta after 30 years before coming to the Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Strickland told 11Alive that she drives herself to work and arrives an hour early every day. 

Although the students and staff at Shiloh Elementary School have given Strickland the “granny” moniker, she is like a real grandmother to many.

"Atlanta is a big melting pot and people come from all over the world so they leave their grandmothers behind. It's good to have someone like "granny" around to let people know what it's like to have a grandmother," Shiloh Elementary Principal Thomas Trippany said. 

To show off her school spirit, Strickland told 11Alive that she goes to nearly every staff volleyball game and wears a cheerleading shirt.

She said the love that she has received over the years is enough to keep her going.

"What could one person want more than the love that I have gotten today? Gifts don't mean a lot. It's love and the world needs more love," she said. 

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