Taylor Swift shocked one of her biggest fans with a care package that included jewelry, a watercolor painting and $1,989 to help with the fan's student loans.
That lucky fan, Rebekah Bortniker, unwrapped the pop superstar's personalized package while her mother filmed it, and uploaded the resulting video to YouTube on Monday. And like most things Swift-related, news traveled fast: The 7-minute video has accumulated more than 700,000 views in just three days.
Swift sent the package in response to Bortniker's consistent support, and a tribute video the 25-year-old fan posted last Friday. With spliced together clips of Swift and the singer's girlfriends, Bortniker set the montage to the theme song to "Friends" — even adding credits mirroring the font of those found in the NBC sitcom's opening title sequence. On Saturday, Swift reblogged Bortniker's video with the comment "THIS IS SO CUTE," helping the post collect more than 22,600 responses.
But the seven-time Grammy winner wasn't done expressing her thanks. Over the weekend, Swift mailed some presents to Bortniker, whose mother filmed the unwrapping thereof. The video opens with Bortniker's reading of a card, whose cover reads "Soooo lucky to be your friend" and is dated Jan. 11.
"Rebekah, Hi you. I was thinking about you today and how you have been there cheering me on in the most thoughtful and creative ways," Swift wrote inside the card. "I love the video you made of me and my friends, and your text posts always crack me or make me think. I got out my paints for the first time in a while today and made you something. I really really really really hope you like it. I'm not a good painter but I think you're so beautiful and positive, even though you're dealing with the stress life brings, so I wanted to make you something. See you on tour, buddy! Sending you a hug. [Signed] Taylor."
And Swift packaged more than a written hug in the FedEx box whose "Fed" prefix was crossed out and replaced with the word "Swift" in black permanent marker.
With a note that read, "Beks, was mine, now yours," a black jewelry bag held a gold-chained necklace with green and black pendants. And before Bortniker could unravel layers of bubble wrap to get to Swift's watercolor painting of the word "BEKS" and number 1989 mingling among flowers, the super-fan discovered a white purse with a note attached to the zipper: "Rebekah, now you're $1989 closer to paying off those student loans."
When Bortniker unzipped the bag and realized what was inside, she covered her mouth and cried. Her mother, who'd reacted off-camera to Swift's purse note with an emotional "Oh!", asked her daughter what she wanted to say.
"I have nothing to say," Bortniker said through tears. "Oh, my God."
After placing her hands on her head and taking another moment to realize what was happening, Bortniker collected herself, continued admiring the box's contents and thanked Swift for the memorable mailer.
Swift's monetary gift amount is no coincidence. On the verge of selling 4 million copies, her latest album is called "1989."
With some time to collect her thoughts, Bortniker provided additional insight when she posted her video to her Tumblr account Monday.
"So, here’s the video of me opening the gifts Taylor sent me," she wrote. "I was so nervous I couldn’t even read the letter and totally butchered it. I was just in such shock that Taylor had taken her time to think about me and send me something. I still don’t think I’ve really processed it all, I feel like I’m just in this crazy dream. I couldn’t even form words when I opened everything, luckily my mom took a minute to thank Taylor for me. Taylor, thank you, thank you, thank you. I know I’ve said it and I’ll probably say it a million more times because this means more to me than you could imagine, I love you!"
On Monday and Tuesday, Bortniker published follow-up posts on Tumblr to show off "the most beautiful painting to ever exist;" a Swift photograph with the caption, "Just sitting around painting flowers for Rebekah;" a photo of Bortniker wearing the gifted necklace; and a pic of many of Swift's gifts.
On Tuesday, Swift reblogged Borniker's Tumblr post that featured the unwrapping of Swift's care package and commented, "I love you so much."
Already overwhelmed with emotion, Borniker endured even more craziness after her story went viral. In addition to fielding requests to be interviewed by media outlets, she publicly rejected what she said was an offer to buy the video of her opening Swift's presents.
"I'm just going to go lay down with my letter and remember that everything will be okay," she tweeted Wednesday, "because Taylor loves me and I love her."
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