Sikeston florist brightens days

Sunday, July 25, 2010

SIKESTON -- Helen York knows flowers can instantly brighten someone's day.

And that's what she and her staff at Helen's Florist did Monday, as they delivered 48 arrangements to 10 locations including Sikeston and Miner nursing facilities and the hospital to observe Teleflora's "Make Someone Smile Week," which wraps up on Saturday.

"We do this for people who will really appreciate it," said York, noting that the recipients of these flowers are for those who do not usually receive flowers.

"Mission accomplished," said Tracy Reaves, a teacher at New Dawn State School, which received four arrangements. The deliveries included bright yellow mugs with smiley faces, stuffed with white and yellow daisies and baby's breath. Balloons were attached to some, and a card was attached to all of them, saying "we hope that we have brightened your day" and care instructions.

"I think this is wonderful, and it really did make a difference and make our students smile," said Reaves.

She said the gesture was much-appreciated. "On a Monday morning, it was nice to get a phone call from someone saying 'We're going to bring you some flowers to help make your day better.'"

Bertha Joyce, president of the Auxiliary at Missouri Delta Medical Center, shared that sentiment. "I thought 'how great,'" she recalled.

Joyce said she's seen the effects of a flower delivery for patients at the hospital.

"You see their eyes light up, and it takes their mind off of their problems for just a little while," said Joyce.

Fifteen arrangements were left at MDMC, a majority of them at the nurses' stations. "This way those working at the station can see it, as well as patients that can get out in the hallways and people coming and going," said Joyce.

In order to participate in the Make Someone Smile week, Justin DeGonia, who has worked at Helen's for six years and is on the Teleflora Board for the Lewis and Clark Unit, which includes Missouri, had to attend a four-day training in Oklahoma City. He said it was important for him to attend the training and be a part of the week -- marked for the first time in Sikeston, although it's Teleflora's 10th anniversary -- because of what he gains from being a florist.

"Being a florist is not just about poking flowers," he said. "It's about being able to touch people in an intangible way. No matter what the occasion, happy or sad, flowers make people happy."

Across the nation, 22,000 florists were expected to participate in the week by donating and delivering approximately 220,000 bouquets, said DeGonia. To learn more, visit to www.teleflora.com/makesomeonesmile.

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