SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

Edythe Kirchmaier celebrated a special birthday at Direct Relief Wednesday.

"How do I start?" said Kirchmaier with a laugh as she stared down at her birthday cake.

Luckily there weren't 106 candles, but she has earned them.

"Oh my gosh. When I was 100, I thought that was it. I really though, 'Oh gosh, I've made it to 100.' And then the years keep going by, one, two, three. Here I am up to 106. It's amazing," she said.

Kirchmaier celebrated her special day with her Direct Relief family. She's been volunteering at the non-profit for 40 years.

"She's been working for Direct Relief for far longer than anyone who actually works at Direct Relief, as a volunteer so, it's just this anchor for us," said Direct Relief President Thomas Tighe.

Kirchmaier has become quite the celebrity this past year. She's been on morning news shows, Jay Leno and Ellen.

"What's your secret? What do you do that keeps you so alert and aware?" said Ellen DeGeneres, during Kirchmaier's visit to the show.

"I do have a secret. But if I tell it, then it won't be a secret," she said with a laugh.

Kirchmaier did let NewsChannel 3 in on her secret.

"Well I think it's probably the fact that I have a very positive attitude. I don't know, I just love being alive!" she said.

Sofia Schuster, 9, sang the birthday girl a song. It was to the tune of Ella Fitzgerald's "At Last" with a few changes to the words.

"For here we are on your birthday, for you are 106 at last!" sang Schuster.

Deckers Outdoor Corporation gave Kirchmaier her first gift of the day -- a pair of red Ugg slippers.

Deckers will also match 106 donations to Direct Relief in honor of her.

Slideshow: Edythe Celebrates 106th Birthday At Direct Relief

POSTED: 04:28 PM PST Jan 22, 2014 
Edythe Kirchmaier attributes her age, health to her positive outlook on life

Edythe Kirchmaier celebrated a special birthday at Direct Relief Wednesday.

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