Sometimes it is the little things that can brighten a senior’s day!

Contact:

Patricia Gallagher – BA, MBA

Cell: 267 939 0365

storiesforseniors@gmail.com

Headshot Trisha Sonja

MISSION STATEMENT:

The Stories for Seniors Project has altered its mission. Our new focus is the Happy Flower Day Project. We bring beautiful free donated day-old flowers to residents of senior living communities, hospitals, hospices, cancer treatment centers, recovery houses, adult day care centers, healthcare facilities, mental health facilities and other places where people need a little bouquet of joy to brighten their day. And just sometimes to strangers on the street!

Please click the link below to view the WHYY news story with 10 pictures. There is a yellow speaker button on the left side of this link that will give you the audio interview so you can hear the interview with Patricia and WHYY Public Radio reporter. Click the yellow button and then the arrow to hear the audio interview.

Day-old bouquets bring joy to nursing home residents!

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/homepage-feature/item/58229-day-old-bouquets-bring-joy-to-nursing-home-residents&Itemid=3&linktype=hp_impact

What did we do for seniors living in continuing care communities prior to delivering the beautiful day-old bouquets of donated flowers?

From 2009-2012, we collected and distributed new and gently-used stuffed animals and crocheted, knitted and quilted afghans for folks in nursing homes, AIDS hospices, retirement communities, veterans’ hospitals and shelters. Sometimes it is the little things that can brighten a person’s day. (We are focusing on the Happy Flower Day Project so at this time, we do not need stuffed animals or blankets. In May, 2013, we began bringing beautiful bouquets donated to me each morning by several Trader Joe’s stores in the Philadelphia and suburban areas.)

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Video of the Happy Flower Day Project spreading joy at a senior center.

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20131219/the-happy-flower-day-project-spreads-joy-at-montco-saac-in-norristown

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There is no shortage of people who need a surprise “pick-me-up.” Most of the time, we show up unexpectedly. Flowers make people smile! The pictures include staff in a variety of senior settings such as  community centers, senior apartment buildings, and continuing care facilities. variety of senior centers, nursing homes and senior groups. And also lots of seniors that we meet along our daily flower route.

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Trader Joe’s parking lot photos courtesy of:  Terree Yeagle, The Moment Photography TheMomentPhoto.com

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pictures of bags of flowers

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Contact:

Patricia Gallagher – BA, MBA

Cell: 267 939 0365

 storiesforseniors@gmail.com

 

MISSION STATEMENT:

The Stories for Seniors Project has altered its mission. Our new focus is the Happy Flower Day Project. We bring beautiful free donated day-old flowers to residents of senior living communities, hospitals, hospices, cancer treatment centers, recovery houses, adult day care centers, healthcare facilities, mental health facilities and other places where people need a little bouquet of joy to brighten their day.

Please click the link below to view the WHYY news story with 10 pictures.  There is a yellow speaker button on the left side of this link that will give you the audio interview so you can hear the interview with Patricia and WHYY Public Radio reporter. Click the yellow button and then the arrow to hear the audio interview.

Day-old bouquets bring joy to nursing home residents!

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/homepage-feature/item/58229-day-old-bouquets-bring-joy-to-nursing-home-residents&Itemid=3&linktype=hp_impact

What did we do for seniors  living in continuing care communities prior to delivering the beautiful day-old bouquets of donated flowers?

From 2009-2012, we collected and distributed  new and gently-used stuffed animals and crocheted, knitted and quilted afghans for folks in nursing homes, AIDS hospices, retirement communities, veterans’ hospitals and shelters.

Sometimes it is the little things that can brighten a person’s day. (We are focusing on the Happy Flower Day Project so at this time, we do not need stuffed animals or blankets.)

Bob G and me with flowers

In May, 2013, we decided to bring bouquets of fresh flowers donated by Trader Joe’s to the residents of senior living communities. We blossomed what we have affectionately named “The Happy Flower Day Project.”

Link to a talk show audio interview. Scroll down a little to Patricia Gallagher segment.

http://www.jvattraction.com/interview/patricia-gallagher-loves-community-epic-ways/

Every morning, I pick up several dozen to several hundred bouquets of beautiful petals and blooms. These are the day-old flowers donated to me by local florists. Our random act of bringing flowers spreads lots of sunshine. There is no shortage of people who love receiving a “Have a nice day!” bouquet of rainbow colored flowers such as orchids, roses, daisies, tulips, etc.

Thousands of people have been thrilled when a cheerful bouquet of fresh flowers showed up unexpectedly in their room, at their dinner place setting or on their laps.

What do we need? Donations to cover the cost of gas, tolls and other expenses. Donations are tax-ductible.
We are a 501(c)(3) organization and have non-profit status.

Lots of flowers in back seat of the car

http://storiesforseniors.wordpress.com/the-flower-project-2/

www.storiesforseniors.wordpress.com

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Imagine the thrill of being surprised by  a fragrant bouquet of brightly colored flowers……for no reason…..just because. 

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And the flowers are simply a way to convey “You are beautiful inside and out – just like the flowers.”  Can you jpicture what happens when we say “Happy Flower Day to you! I have a pretty bouquet for you because you are special.”

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Flowers for all –  for the  residents and staff too!

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I sometimes offer a fun program that accompanies the gift distribution. Interactive, joyful, fun and colorful!  http://storiesforseniors.wordpress.com/inspirational-and-fun-programs-offered/

Please call or email to share ideas. I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you!

Contact:

Patricia Gallagher, BA, MBA

storiesforseniors@gmail.com

www.storiesforseniors.wordpress.com

Director of  the Happy Flower Day Project and Life Enrichment for Seniors Programs

Cell: 267 939 0365

Please call or email before collecting items so we can share our current needs.

flowers in car 2

www.patriciausa.com

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Doing a radio show to tell others how to start a Happy Flower Day Project in their community

Dear Patrica,

My name is Candice Potter, co-Host for Bellesprit Radio Show. We would like to invite you to be our special guest on September 13, 2014 @ 8pm ET for a 1 hour interview!  We would like to do a feature on the show about your Happy Flower Day Project and plan to feature it in an article that will be the cover feature of Bellesprit Magazine for September. We look forward to hearing from you in the very near future!

 

Candice Potter, Co host Bellesprit Radio Show

“Miss Flower Lady, your flowers are a Godsend.”

Headshot Trisha Sonja

Today, I went to two nursing homes. One in Chester County and one in Montgomery County. Picked up the flowers at the Wayne location of Trader Joe’s. I get all kinds of comments.

Your flowers are a Godsend to the residents here. They have nothing.
I never received flowers before. Never in my life.
Can I have another one? I gave mine to my room-mate who can’t get out of bed.

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Bob, my flower-ing volunteer – announced our visits with harmonica tunes!

bob and harmonica

It was Bob’s idea last August.

Trisha, I wonder if I can help you with the flower deliveries. (He was 90 years old!)

On our first foray out to deliver the flowers, he had a thought.

Trisha, I used to play the harmonica. What do you think of this idea? I could get it out and start practicing some patriotic tunes. Then, as we carry the flowers into the nursing home, I can “announce” the visit by playing Yankee Doodle Dandy, God Bless America, America the Beautiful, Battle Hymn of the Republic, God Bless America, Halls of Montezuma, The Stars and Stripes Forever and The Star-Spangled Banner. I am a little rusty on those songs but if I practice, I should be able to do that within a few weeks. I might need to buy another harmonica because this one does not seem to be quite right.

Please give me your opinion – give out pies or flowers

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Patricia,
Pies are nice and I’m sure they would be very well received by the residents, however many seniors, especially those in long term nursing facilities are on regulated diets. Not just the diabetics, but also those that are on CHO, carb control, renal, npo, puree…etc.. would not be able to enjoy the treats…..Your flowers bring joy to many, MANY, residents with very few exclusions . You are “the flower lady”…. :)
D. M.
Patricia,
Flowers, because a lot of the residents are on ground and puree diets! Thanks, Terry

Patricia,
Seniors always seem to like sweet treats. Mary Jane

Patricia,
As for my vote, I’d say that the flowers would be easiest to continue with as the main project, with the occasional pie / yummy being the alternative. I agree that it often feels like everyone has some food-restriction (Gluten-free / lactose-intolerant / diabetes / allergies / etc), and food gifts have been more difficult for me to give to teachers / friends as a result. I would hate to see you do all of that work of collecting the food, only to be turned away. You could, however, be the ‘concierge’ of pies…if a facility wanted to throw a little shindig for the residents, you might be the one to procure the refreshments and the table decorations of flowers…maybe something like that? I know that bagel places (chains, like Einstein, and even little mom & pop shops) have to throw out their unsold inventory each day…my MOPS group used to offer to pick them up and share them with an outreach mission / soup kitchen in Norristown, saving them from the trash and saving the shelter precious budget-dollars. (Panera’s does something similar, sharing their leftover bread products with local shelters) Not sure that you want to be the “Bagel Lady”, but it’s an option if you do decide to change over to food gifts!

Whatever random acts of love you end up pursuing, I know it’ll be awesome! Blessings!

:-) Kristen

Dear Friends,
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Please give me your vote? Should I continue with the “Random acts of flowers” or switch to “Random acts of pies” for residents and staff? Quite accidentally, I stumbled upon a new project. Just wondering what you think.

Please click the link below for pictures and explanation.

http://storiesforseniors.wordpress.com/2014/08/06/random-acts-of-pies-to-give-away-no-flowers-that-day/

https://twitter.com/HappyFlowerDay/with_replies

A Beat the Heat and Have Fun with Flowers Kind of Day

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CAM02248Today, the flowers were arranged in pretty vases – to be placed in the residents’ rooms.

What did I hear today?

Are you the Flower Lady? Remember when you gave me yellow snapdragons on your last visit? Do you know that they lasted over a week? Joy swept through here the day that you and Bob brought us all of those flowers!

I am down in the dumps today. My son is dying in a nursing home in California and I can’t be with him. My name is Charles and his name is Chuck. Chuck is 64. I am turning 90.

I wish that I could correspond with you but I cannot see anymore to write a letter. I was married 78 years. My wife died two years ago. My daughter comes in once in awhile.

I have been married for 62 Years. My wife lives in another nursing home.

I am torn. My wife lives in the dementia care unit. She does not know me. She hasn’t recognized me for three years. I live over there in the independent section. I am in love with another lady who lives here. I am so filled with guilt. I want to let her know that I love her and have strong feelings for her. But how can I? I have to be faithful to my wife. What do you think I should do?CAM02245

“Random acts of pies” to give away – no flowers that day

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Two of my Trader Joe’s locations did not have flowers to donate to me – oh no! 30 ladies were waiting expectantly for flowers at a nursing home in Philadelphia. The sales associate sensed my disappointment and said,”We have 30 pies that were pulled off the shelf. They are a day before expiration. Would you like them? We had them set aside for a food pantry that usually picks them up but I think this is a good will ambassador kind of emergency donation.”

Wow – sounds like an “As easy as pie” idea to me!

So I put the box of pies, cakes, brownies, pineapple juice in cans and a variety of treats on the seat of my car and went on my way.

The toll collector on the PA turnpike commented, “Wow, you have a lot of pies!”

What kind would you like? Cherry or rhubarb? She was shocked and selected the rhubarb pie.

And then the random acts of pie-ing began for me.

First pie to the toll collector, six pies to the men working at a construction site, one to the editor of the local newspaper where I stopped to buy a newspaper…….and lots of treats to the ladies at the Philadelphia nursing home in Philadelphia. The kitchen manager said he would cut them up for a snack for all of the residents.

Maybe I have a new calling to be the Pie Lady rather than the Flower Lady. What do you think?