My philosophy: I am a realist. I love to pass out real flowers. I know that passing out flowers is “recommended” for days when you are feeling blue, or have time on your hands. Doing this floral-recycling, re-purposing and flower re-gifting is guaranteed to spice up your day. I love to uplift my own spirits and the spirits of others. Try it. I bet you’ll like it too.
Just a few of the people and places that I bring flowers to brighten their days:
Elderly, ill, disabled, housebound, foster parents, abused women shelters, homeless shelters, AIDS hospices, children’s hospitals, geriatric centers, rehabs for addictions, support groups for family members, Meals on Wheels clients, nursing homes, senior living retirement communities, disable vets, homes for people with emotional issues, community based programs, senior day care centers, cancer treatment centers, shut-ins, people living alone, etc. Ask your friends and family to recommend recipients.
Time lies heavy on the minds of some seniors. I think the flowers help to lift spirits. I thought that flowers were just meant for the ladies. But I noticed that the men liked the flowers too. Every day, I watch wrinkled hands entwine around the flowers. Smelling them. Touching them. Admiring them. Holding them close against their hearts. One lady wrapped her arms around me and leaned in for a kiss.
I love going to senior centers, adult day care centers, senior living communities, and nursing homes.
The grocery store that donates the flowers is glad to be a part of the recycling and re-gifting of flowers. I know it is trendy to “go green.” I am not just going green -I am going pink, yellow, white, purple, yellow and red, and all of the colors of the bouquets.
The way that I see it – the flowers are a form of celebration – a way to pay our respects to seniors – just a little acknowledgement and appreciation for all they have done in their lives.
Bright and early, I arrived at the store and a store employee very kindly gave me sixty bouquets that were placed in black plastic buckets that were filled with water – to keep them looking fresh. I drove my little KIA to a nursing home – the back seats and the trunk layered with bouquets.
My mission was accomplished within an hour. All of the fragrant petals and blooms were in the hands of people who needed joy the most. The staff was excited to be a part of the Happy Flower Day Project.
It was a total surprise. Nobody knew that I was coming.
I drove back downtown to retrieve another carload of bouquets that did not fit into my car. Boy, was my day starting out on a happy note!
I was a college student during the late 1960′s which was the era of “Flower Power.” I saw that the flowers bloomed sunshine, lots of smiles and happy conversations. The bouquets were wrapped in colorful cellophane and ribbon.
What I know for sure: “Flower Power” is still powerful…..many decades later.
Here are a few comments from flower recipients. And just a few random pictures of the people I met along my flowering way – here, there and everywhere.
When you just show up for life, amazing opportunities come your way. Delivering flowers to strangers is the way that I lift my spirits higher and higher!
Do men get flowers too? Wow, that is great. My wife is coming to visit in a few minutes. She has a heart of gold. And now I can give her these gold sunflowers! I am going to pretend that I bought them. My heart melted as I pictured him surprising her with flowers. He winked with amusement like it was a top secret.
I don’t want any. I don’t have any money to pay you. You mean they are free? Who are you, dear? Why are you bringing me flowers?
I didn’t think it was going to be a good day and then this happens. You are giving me these beautiful flowers, really? She looked surprised. Her eyes crinkled….and I saw tear-filled eyes.
I am feeling desperately homesick. I have been in and out of hospitals and now I am here for rehab. I just want to go home. I would love the white roses. I have company coming.
Miss, what you just did for us, bringing flowers to everyone, means more than if you came in and gave us a hundred dollars. He hugged me and I hugged back. Are you from my church? I go to the one at the bottom of the hill.
A frail lady in her 80’s said, Can you help find my father? I want to talk to him. My mother passed away yesterday and I can bring the flowers to her funeral. Of course, the dementia blurred her reality. I just smiled and told her that someone would help her find her father, long departed.
Interview with Patricia Gallagher starts at the 24 minute mark on the link below.
Link to Relevant Radio Interview about The Happy Flower Day Project
Big. Little. Multicolored. Natural. Special. FREE flowers are right for everybody. Just ask the 40 people who received them today while I passed them out – beautiful fresh flowers – given away in a fast-food restaurant parking lot – in Philadelphia! All 40 people just picked a perfect bunch – a whole bouquet. Remember the kids’ card game GO FISH? I like to play my own game – GO FLOWER! www.happyflowerday.org