As part of our National Smile Week celebration, our Smile Team was honored to be a part of a very special event at the Helen Keller National Center for Deaf-blind Youths and Adults in Sands Point, NY. Having previously partnered with the Center through their Work Experience Internship, where consumers get to work at 1-800-Flowers.com® and learn to adjust to the working world and gain life skills, we were thrilled to make this wonderful organization part of our Summer of a Million Smiles Program.
Our own expert florist, Jerry Rosalia, enthusiastically volunteered to run a floral design class for the deaf and blind students who attend the Helen Keller Center. The rest of the team, which included Sara Resnick, Caroline Aloisio, Meredith McArdle, Jaclyn Sanderson and Keith Hoge, chose to have each of the students arrange their very own It’s Your Day Bouquet®, with Jerry at their side to guide them through the steps. Although some of the students were not able to see the bouquets, the smells of the flowers quickly put a smile on each of their faces.
“The fragrance and experience was inspiring,” said one student of their personalized creation. Another student was taken by the vibrant hues of the fresh blooms, saying “The colors of the flowers illustrate different emotions. Yellow means happiness, pink means warmth and comfort, purple is sensual and green is nature, like the earth.”
After their bouquets were complete, we distributed smiley face cut-outs for each of the students to add to the blooms. To top it all off, each of them received Cheryl’s cookies cards, which really filled the room with smiles! When it came time to leave, the students were bringing their bouquets up to the dorms to proudly put on display. The event was such a hit that we plan on returning next year to deliver even more smiles!
The day led 1-800-Flowers.com® employee Jaclyn Sanderson to say: “I’m so glad I had the opportunity to participate in this Summer of a Million Smiles event. It was a great experience not only for the students at the center, but for myself as well. I would love do this again!”
1-800-Flowers.com® employee Keith Hoge adds, “I had a great time working with the students at the Helen Keller Center. They were all so enthusiastic about the activity and were really eager to learn from an expert florist. Hopefully we can come back next year!”