Story Ideas for Media

Email: Patricia@patriciausa.com

Cell: 267 939 0365

Philadelphia suburb

 

To read a magazine article about The Happy Flower Day Project with pictures, please click the link below.

http://www.bellesprit.com/random-acts-of-flowers/

www.patriciausa.com

STORY IDEAS:

1. Meet the Flower Lady
This is a link to an article written about the Happy Flower Day project. Woman Alive Magazine. Published in the UK>
http://www.womanalive.co.uk/articles?articleaction=view&articleid=791

This was an article in the Chestnut Hill Local newspaper this week.
http://chestnuthilllocal.com/blog/2014/07/18/moved-start-husbands-suicide-attempt-flower-lady-brings-beauty-need/

https://storiesforseniors.wordpress.com/2014/08/01/bob-my-mother-and-me-we-were-the-flower-people/

SUGGESTED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HAPPY FLOWER DAY PROJECT

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• How/when/where did you get started in this outreach? What was your inspiration?
 How did you go about setting things up?
 How did the project grow and change?
• Who helps you with the Happy Flower Day project? Do you have people who regularly volunteer to help? Do different people help at different times?
• How have different recipients responded? Any story that particularly stands out?

Interview:  Patricia brings hundreds of beautiful donated bouquets to strangers ever week! http://www.blogtalkradio.com/bellesprit/2014/09/09/bellesprit-radio-show-guest-patricia-gallagher-september-feature

 

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Are you aware of your project inspiring any similar work anywhere? Where? If people would like to do something similar, can they contact you (via your website)? Would you be able to offer any guidance?
• Is there anyone you have regular contact with that you have seen a change in (for the better) in some way? A change that you attribute to the flower project?
• What problems (if any) have you come up against in setting up or carrying out this work?
• Have you been asked to speak at functions to explain/promote the project? Where? What have been the results?
• What has been the highlight of the project for you, to date?
• What has the project meant to you? How has it changed you (if it has)?
• Any special flower project plans for Christmas and other holidays?
• Any plans/new developments for the new year?

Story written for Beliefnet:
http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/blissblog/2014/02/randoms-acts-of-flowers.html

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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OTHER TOPICS:

2. Our family has had some ups and downs. Shown below are some of the story ideas that may offer inspiration to others. Patricia welcomes interviews and speaking engagements.

Yesterday, Ruth Anne Wood interviewed me about The Flower Project, Stuffed Animal Project, and our book No More Secrets.

We planned to talk about the Happy Flower Day Project but we covered lots of other projects too. Why I collected 11,423 new and gently-used stuffed animals for people in nursing homes, why our family wrote the book No More Secrets and how the Team of Angels project began.

Please click on the blue link below to hear interview. Under my picture, you will see three yellow buttons. Click the first yellow button with the arrow to play the interview.

In 2009, she interviewed me about the Team of Angels.

Ruth Anne’s website is www.scriptingforsuccess.com

3. Please click the link below from a couple that accompanied me on a nursing home visit to deliver some of the 11,000 stuffed animals that I collected primarily from my requests on Craig’s List.  Tony and Meryl’s  observations are on the link.  https://storiesforseniors.wordpress.com/a-little-about-me/

Please click on this link to read article that appeared in the Bucks County Courier. My observation after visiting a nursing home. May be reprinted for any purpose.

https://storiesforseniors.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/he-sometimes-cries-like-that.pdf

4. The Send a Team of Angels to Help Movement

Story Idea:

How many angels dance on the head of a Team of Angels pin? Three. Just ask Patricia Gallagher, she offers hope!

The letters come to her in the mail. Thirty thousand of them. All of them in pain. Letters that could break your heart.

“My mom has to buy me a new wheelchair….”

“I am a senior with health problems….”

“I would like a lift…..”

Thirty thousand that she has read. They write to her because perhaps she is a stranger. Perhaps because they are alone. They need to tell her their sorrows. She reads them all. It is the mission of the “Send a Team of Angels to Help” movement that she began in 1998. People write asking for something small – a gold pin with three angels, a poem on a bookmark – but asking for something more. Comfort, hope and someone who cares.

Patricia Gallagher has been sending hope in the mail for over a decade. And passing out thousands of her pass-it-along Team of Angels to people in nursing homes and hospitals. And on the street.

Mrs. Gallagher

I just read about your Team of Angels. What a wonderful idea. I have a friend in Massachusetts that I met over the Internet. She is a lovely lady. She has three boys, triplets. They are now 8-years- old and are beautiful children. She is having a hard time because all three of these boys have Muscular Dystrophy. Their life expectancy is 11- years-old. My heart breaks for her every day. I cannot even begin to imagine the pain that she must be going through knowing that she is going to lose all three children. Would you please write a poem for this lady and be kind enough to forward a copy of the poem to me? If anyone in the world needs a Team of Angels, it‘s this lady.

Mrs. Gallagher,

My 31-year-old sister, Leslie, is mentally retarded and had a malignant brain tumor five years ago. Last week she was diagnosed with two new brain tumors, which are inoperable. The doctors have given her two months to live. My parents are crushed. She does not know her life will be ending soon. It would cause too much worry in her situation. The doctors have prescribed steroids to ease the headaches and say she should slip away in her sleep. In the meantime, my parents must live each day like nothing is wrong. I don‘t usually write to strangers nor do things like this, but I was touched by your desire to uplift people. My dad is retired from the Air Force so I am partial to people who do things for people overseas. I pray that your Team of Angels is a big success!

My Dear Angel Patricia,

I am more than overwhelmed. I‘m very severely ill and very much terrified. I need something or someone to help me feel needed and wanted. I feel like a 5th wheel around my family. I have been on bed rest and without visitors for months.

Patricia says, “When you get these letters, you want to be more of a ministry than a business. That is why I have given them out for free. Occasionally, I have offered them for sale so that I could help with the expenses of doing the project. I made the angel pins initially to comfort my self and then I started making them to give away. I’m not trying to make this any grander than it is. I just think when people give the pins or get the pins, they feel good. I think it is people showing friendship to other people – just caring.”

5. Story Ideas:

Maybe this will inspire someone to reach out to a grandma or grandpa who is living in a nursing home and has no one to visit them. One activity director told me that sixty percent of the residents in her facility do not have any

family or friends left to visit.

1.   Operation Secret Santa for People in Nursing Homes.

2. Permission is granted to reprint these two articles provided credit is given. Please include my site. www.patriciausa.com

Article number one is  He sometimes cries like that and the second article is  https://storiesforseniors.wordpress.com/he-didnt-seem-like-a-quitter-or-grumbler/

3. Thousands of donated day-old bouquets of flowers have been taken to nursing home residents. (And still continuing to bring smiles to seniors with petals and blooms.) www.happyflowerday.com

4.   What’s an Empty-Nester Mom to do?  Collect thousands of stuffed animals, load them in her van and take them where?

Bears with bows, bunnies with fancy ribbons…..they may seem small and insignificant, but not to someone living in a nursing home, who rarely gets a visitor. They are warm, snuggly and comforting.

www.storiesforseniors.wordpress.com

6. We are coming out of the shadows to tell our family’s story. Our family memoir is titled No More Secrets – A Family Speaks About Anxiety, Depression and Attempted Suicide.

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Click: COMING OUT OF THE SHADOWS TO TELL MY STORY

www.speakingaboutdepression.com

This is a link to a radio interview with Patricia Gallagher. Please scroll down to story number 4 which is titled Depression in the Family.

http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/latestadditions/seriessearchprog.asp?seriesID=6696&fldSeriesName=At+Home+with+Jim+and+Joy

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Patricia Gallagher is a woman from Pennsylvania who believes in listening to the “small, still voice inside” for inspiration.

7. STORY IDEA ABOUT THE STUFFED ANIMALS PROJECT.

It’s true that most people think stuffed animals and baby blankets are for kids. What I have found is that for the elderly in nursing homes, the reaction is the same. The textures, the different varieties of stuffed animals, and the sheer joy when they select the one that they want to cuddle with, is a beautiful sight to see.”

Patricia founded STORIES FOR SENIORS, a one-woman organization that provides stuffed animals and soft blankets to people in senior care communities. Now, with over 3500 collected and distributed, she is hoping that someone will step in to help her continue the project.

Angels on Earth magazine

Money raised through the sale of the Team of Angels pins that she created goes to the expenses to operate the program. However, as the program has grown, that is not enough to cover the costs.

Fifteen months later, sixty senior healthcare facilities have received the furry critters.  Patricia says, “So many residents have no family members nearby. They have lost their friends to sickness or living miles away.  When I look around the room and see 30 residents in wheelchairs, holding a stuffed animal, with a colorful blanket on their lap, I see smiles of joy and hear laughter.

Patricia is glad she listened to her heart. And, to the still soft voice that told her to start collecting dogs with colorful hats and bears with fancy bows. Now, with her four kids all grown up, she no longer asks herself, “What’s a mother to do?” She has found a new calling, in her “empty-nest years.”  www.storiesforseniors.wordpress.com

For information, please call Patricia Gallagher.

Cell: 267 939 0365</strong

The article below  was  written by a NY Times best-selling author who is a friend of mine.  Joan Wester-Anderson’s website is http://joanwanderson.com/ This article appeared in her angel newsletter that she sends out to her subscribers.
Hello angel friends.
 From time to time I like to introduce you to earth angels, such as Patricia Gallagher.  We haven’t met face-to-face.  But as Thanksgiving approaches, I can’t help but think that it’s a holiday made for her.  Patricia is one of those people who is much happier giving than receiving.  Show her a need and she will try to fix it.  Fast.
We connected via phone when we were both developing careers as writers.  I was somewhat timid, afraid of rejection slips and shy about promoting my literary creations.
Trisha? When her first book Start Your Own At-Home Child care Business (Doubleday, 1989)  was published, she bought a van, hung signs that said Ask me about my Mommy’s book and Have you read my Mommy’s book? The  sign hung across the back. She took her three young children – Ryan wasn’t born yet –  on a cross-country advertising trip.
doubledayvanballoons
The book was a hit, but along the way Trisha had discovered angels, and soon she was designing angel pins (and writing verses) for those people who needed a hug.  Thousands of angel pins, paid for with her book royalties.
By now some hard years had emerged. Trisha’s husband had developed health problems, which cast a pall on their otherwise happy household. Women needed a place to go to relieve stress when times like this happened, trisha  thought.  Within weeks she had found a little property where women could pray and support one another.
By now I had noticed that Trisha’s  favorite age group were the elderly.  And as her own nest became empty, she looked around to see who else needed her loving touch.
There seemed to be a lack of friendly visitors, she noticed, people who would just bring a little comfort to a lonely resident.  During the next three years she collected over 11,000 new and gently-used stuffed animals to be passed out to seniors, little “hugables”  from her postings on Craig’s List.
Somewhere during that time, she also found herself reading stories to residents of nearby nursing homes.
“I don’t  know exactly how I get involved in all this,”  she once told me in a mastery of understatement.  “Things just seem to happen.”
Recently trisha  sent me an email regarding  Trader Joe’s. Since this store sells only fresh flowers—nothing older than a day—Patricia had wondered what they did with the unsold ones.

8. strong>My book/blog on Raising Happy Kids on a Reasonable Budget

http://raisinghappykids.wordpress.com/page/21/

Within days she had an answer: Trader Joe will give these flowers to non-profit organizations – folks willing to drive the bouquets around to senior living communities.
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“You just need to contact store managers or flower departments at big grocery stores,” she says.  “You tell them what you want to do, and schedule a time. Bring your tax ID number that shows your non-profit 501 C 3 status.  I go over every morning at 8 a.m.and pick up, sometimes four stores, usually one or two.”
To date, Trisha has delivered over  6,000 bouquets to an eager clientele.  And not just women, Trisha says.  “Men are just as enthusiastic and grateful.”
What is next for Trisha’s career of giving?  My own theory is that Trisha is willing to say “yes” when a need occurs without waiting to see first how it will all work out.  And once she gives her heart to a job, like all of us, she  will be given the tools we need.  Some people might call that impulsive.  I call it “faith.”
For more information, check Patricia’s website: www.patriciausa.com <~><~><~><~><~><~><~><~><~><~><~><~><~><~><~>

Patricia welcomes interviews.

Patricia C. Gallagher BA, MBA Creator of the Send a Team of Angels Movement and the Stories for Seniors Project
Cell: 267 939 0365
Patricia welcomes interviews and speaking engagements
May be available on short notice – Philadelphia suburb

Dear Patricia and the Happy Flower Day People,

Thank you so much for your visit to Montco SAAC. We so enjoyed the good cheer and bright smiles you brought. What an inspired idea! I wish that I had thought of it. So often, our senior population gets overlooked in charity. It is nice to know that there is someone out there who loves them as much as I do. Happy Holidays and have a Happy New Year!

Warmest regards,
Pat

Program Director

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